CLCs celebrate 20 years with family-focused event

Lincoln Community Learning Centers (CLCs) celebrated 20 years of serving children, families and neighborhoods with an event Thursday night at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo.

The CLCs invited its families and community partners to the zoo for the free two-hour event that also recognized 20 years of “Lights On Afterschool,” a nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. 

Families on Thursday were treated to dinner and full access to the zoo, including the train and the always popular giraffe enclosure. Just like CLCs, the event focused on families.

“This is an annual opportunity for us to celebrate all of our CLC sites that provide high-quality enrichment and academic extended learning opportunities for students,” said Nola Derby-Bennett, director of the Lincoln CLCs. “This year we took the opportunity, as we recognize our 20th anniversary, to really highlight our families and give them an opportunity to enjoy a meal and some quality time together.”

Attendees on Thursday could write notes of gratitude and stick them to a whiteboard located in the zoo’s new multi-purpose room, where dinner was served. One person wrote they were thankful for the wonderful teachers at CLCs. One child wrote, “I am thankful for being able to stay after school so dad can work longer.” 

And another person left perhaps the ultimate thank you note to the Lincoln CLCs: “I am grateful that there are people working hard every day to make the world a better place!”

The Lincoln CLCs are a true community partnership and are governed by a board composed of 12 members - four from Lincoln Public Schools, four from the City of Lincoln and four from the Lincoln community. There are 29 CLCs, located in schools across Lincoln. Below is a timeline of when they opened.

1999 - Saratoga, Elliott, West Lincoln and Clinton elementary schools, and Goodrich Middle School

2003 - Everett and Lakeview elementary schools

2004 - Hawthorne, Huntington, Riley and Hartley elementary schools

2005 - Arnold, McPhee and Norwood Park elementary schools, and Dawes Middle School

2007 - Belmont, Brownell and Prescott elementary schools, and Culler Middle School

2009 - Holmes and Pershing elementary schools, Lefler and Mickle middle schools

2010 - Calvert Elementary School, Park Middle School, North Star High School

2017 - Campbell Elementary School

2019 - Randolph Elementary School, Lincoln and Northeast high schools

Published: October 25, 2019, Updated: November 6, 2019