City of Lincoln
2005 Media Releases
The City of Lincoln is one of eight U.S. cities spotlighted for its work with after-school issues in a publication released in April by the National League of Cities (NLC). “The After-school Hours: A New Focus for America’s Cities” recognized the community for its contribution toward establishing Community Learning Centers (CLCs).
CLCs provide safe, supervised, integrated and inclusive before- and after-school, weekend and summer enrichment programs and other supportive services through community-wide collaborative partnerships. The Lincoln CLC initiative is currently serving the community in 15 schools (12 elementary and three middle schools) with a recent grant to add four more schools. The goal is to provide support services and opportunities which lead to improved student learning and development, stronger families and healthier neighborhoods.
CLCs are one of the Mayor’s priorities to expand and improve the quality and efficiency of social services.
“CLCs in Lincoln are effectively providing a positive, proactive platform for the success of our students,” said Mayor Coleen Seng. “With Lincoln’s unique vision of CLCs also providing vital community services in neighborhoods, CLCs are also promoting the health, well-being and success of our families and our community.”
In March 2000, the Lincoln Public Schools Foundation initiated an effort to determine after-school program needs, and to see if CLCs could address those needs. The result has been the development of CLCs as an ongoing, sustainable program. Bonnie Coffey, Director of the Lincoln-Lancaster Women’s Commission, said the process and results have alleviated the concerns of providers who had feared that their programs would be lost within the CLC framework. Coffey was liaison for the National League of Cities 18-month technical assistance grant and continues to be involved as the City liaison for the CLC management team.
“Nebraska ranks third in the country for the percent of women in the labor force according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research,” Coffey said. “Which begs the question, ‘who is taking care of our children before and after school?’ The CLCs provide not only a safe, nurturing environment for our children, but goes several steps further in reaching out to the community to address specific needs. Growing, thriving communities means that we’re growing healthy, thriving children.”
The National League of Cities is the largest national organization for American cities. It serves as a resource and advocate for more than 18,000 cities, towns and villages of all sizes, which collectively serve more than 225 million people. Its published report can be downloaded from the NLC website at www.nlc.org.