First Learning Lunch examines LPS connections to civil rights trailblazers

The annual Lincoln Public Schools Learning Lunch series is back after a year off and this year it's virtual. The first program was held Wednesday, Sept. 15, and featured local historian Ed Zimmer with his presentation, "What's in a Name, Revisited: Civil Rights Trailblazers." Zimmer spoke before at a Learning Lunch about the stories behind how our schools are named. This time he delved deeper into the civil rights trailblazers who were honored by having a school named after them. 

The next presentation will be Tuesday, Oct. 19. Each monthly Learning Lunch this school year will typically be held on the third Wednesday of the month (full schedule below), and can be accessed through this link: It also can be found on the front page of shortly before the beginning of the program.

The presentations begin at noon, with questions-and-answers at roughly 12:30 p.m. 

Here’s the remainder of our 2021-22 LPS Learning Lunch season schedule:

Tuesday, Oct. 19 - “The Vital Work of our Student Advocates”

Members of the LPS Federal Program’s student advocate team will talk about their work with students and families, particularly within the African-American and American Indian communities. They’ll examine the culturally specific barriers and challenges unique to these communities, as well as how they identify barriers to success and assist these students and families to overcome them.

Wednesday, Nov. 17 - “Full Service Community Schools”

Lincoln Community Learning Centers Director Nola Derby-Bennett will take a deep dive into the goals of our Community Learning Centers, and how the CLCs focus on helping to develop “Smart Kids, Thriving Families & Strong Neighborhoods.”

Wednesday, Dec. 15 - “Teaching Students Involved in Juvenile Justice: Who Are the People of the Pathfinder Program?”

Randy Farmer, director of the LPS Pathfinder Program, will address the unique students - and the educators who work with them - inside the Lancaster County Youth Services Center as part of this program.

Wednesday, Jan. 19 - “Cultural Perspectives and the Role of LPS Bilingual Liaisons”

With the ever-changing demographics within Lincoln Public Schools, currently serving students and families representing 152 countries and speaking 130 languages, LPS must be ready to provide language and cultural support. A panel of LPS Bilingual Liaisons representing seven of the major ethnic groups in this community will provide a glimpse into their roles and responsibilities when working with immigrant and refugee families.

Wednesday, Feb. 16 - “No Other Place To Go” 

Follow the experience of LPS children and youth as they navigate the homeless experience while trying to attend school. Ellen Reilly from LPS Homeless Services will examine the McKinney-Vento Act and how LPS addresses the needs of over 300 students and their families who experience homelessness and how you can help to support and identify those students and those at risk.

Wednesday, March 23 - “Sustainability at LPS: Connecting Facilities, Students, and Community Through Climate Action”

Learn about the LPS Sustainability Programs that are supporting green school initiatives in the areas of waste, energy, water, transportation and air quality. LPS Sustainability Coordinator Brittney Albin will show how there are plenty of ways to get involved at our schools, just in time for Earth Day in April.

Wednesday, April 20 - “How Does Science Really Work? Dogs and Turnips.”

In the wake of the pandemic, science has certainly been put under the microscope. Engage in an activity with LPS Science Curriculum Specialist Betsy Barent that will deepen your understanding about what science is and what it isn't - and you’ll have some fun, too!

Tuesday, May 17 - “Lincoln Youth Symphony, 65 Years of Musical Excellence”

As is tradition, the final Learning Lunch of the school year will feature student music. This year it will be the Lincoln Youth Symphony as it celebrates its 65th anniversary. LPS Supervisor of Music Lance Nielsen and the symphony’s director, Clark Potter, will provide the rich history of the symphony and the program will feature a live student performance.

Published: September 20, 2021, Updated: September 20, 2021