Community Learning Centers open at Randolph, Northeast, Lincoln High

With the new school year comes the opening of three new Community Learning Centers (CLCs), meaning more community members, families and students from Lincoln Public Schools will benefit from the many academic and enrichment opportunities offered by CLCs.

CLCs have opened at Randolph Elementary School, Lincoln Northeast High School and Lincoln High School, pushing the number of CLCs in Lincoln to 29. The new CLCs are funded through a $182,700 federal grant approved by the Nebraska Board of Education last spring. The award is part of $2.2 million in funding distributed statewide through the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant.

The city’s CLCs are located in schools throughout the city. They offer safe, supervised before- and after-school programs, weekend and summer enrichment opportunities and other support services for children, families and neighborhoods. The Lincoln CLCs are a true community partnership and are governed by a board composed of 12 members - four from LPS, four from the City of Lincoln and four from the Lincoln community.

Nola Derby-Bennett, director of Lincoln’s CLCs, said most people probably only think of after-school programs when they think of CLCs - but they offer much more that.

“We actually have pretty specific efforts to engage families and neighborhoods and to really tie the academics the students are learning during the school day to experiential opportunities so students can do a little more in-depth, deep dives,” Derby-Bennett said. 

Combined, the CLCs offer more than 500 clubs, many of which are intended to expose students to potential careers.

“We’re really trying to get them connected to what their future might look like,” Derby-Bennett said.

Published: August 20, 2019, Updated: August 20, 2019