Community Learning Centers Expand Neighborhood Support
Lincoln’s Community Learning Centers (CLCs) are a strategy that brings schools, families and neighborhoods together to provide what children and youth need to be successful. CLCs connect partners and necessary resources which assist in removing barriers to student learning and development. Through strong school community partnerships CLCs are responsive to the needs of students, families and their neighborhoods. Recently, the CLCs have been expanding their efforts to help those in neighborhoods surrounding CLC sites.
The CLCs currently have four pantries installed in Lincoln. The project is led by School Community Coordinator Chelsea Egenberger with Civic Nebraska at Lincoln High School and Michael Bandy with Civic Nebraska at Northeast High. The group's intention was to allow families or residents affiliated with Lincoln Public Schools CLC's to be able to apply for up to $350 for a community project - many chose a free pantry, The CLC's first partnered with Michael Reinmiller, a local resident who helped build and organize various existing pantries across Lincoln. The CLC team helped deliver and install pantries and initially stock them with groceries.
One student and her mother from Randolph Elementary CLC saw a need and helped to establish the free pantry at 2222 Y St, funded by the Community Learning Center Safe and Successful to Kids interlocal agreement, which, among other things, supports the CLCs.
Michael Reinmiller, who started the program in December 2019, says the pantries are filled multiple times a day during the pandemic and it is a coincidence the program became such a success during the pandemic. The grant money also will help keep the pantries stocked.
Through community wide efforts, the CLC’s and others are helping to bring food to communities most in need throughout Lincoln during the pandemic. Students and their families are encouraged to examine the needs in their community to lead efforts and the CLC’s and Civic Nebraska are vital to helping with those efforts. For more information about the Community Learning Centers, contact Samantha Thomas, Community Builder for the Lincoln Community Learning Centers or visit their website.