Mayor Don Wesely will participate in the "Lights On Lincoln!" luncheon Thursday, October 10 to recognize Lincoln's many after school programs. The Lincoln Public Schools Foundation is sponsoring the event from 11:30 to 1 p.m. at the Cornhusker Hotel, 333 South 13th. It is part of the national celebration of "Lights On Afterschool!"
In a proclamation to be signed at the luncheon, Mayor Wesely says quality after school programs "provide a safe, friendly learning environment for our children that boosts their academic achievement; encourage families to become more effective partners in their children's education and support working families by ensuring that their children are safe and productive after the regular school day ends; and build stronger communities by involving our students, parents, business leaders and adult volunteers in the lives of our young people."
The keynote speaker at the luncheon will be Wendy Puriefoy, President of the Public Education Network based in Washington, D.C., the nation's largest network of community-based school reform organizations. Puriefoy is a nationally recognized expert on school reform and society. Other speakers will include Bill Johnston, Publisher of the Lincoln Journal Star; Phil Schoo, Superintendent of the Lincoln Public Schools; and Harold Clarke, President of the Lincoln Public Schools Foundation.
After school services are one of the programs offered through Lincoln's 15 Community Learning Centers (CLCs), partnerships based in schools or other community locations where neighborhood teams plan, implement or expand projects that meet the community's needs. Lincoln was one of eight cities in the nation to receive a technical assistance grant from the National League of Cities to establish and maintain CLCs.
In a concurrent effort to emphasize the importance of youth in the community, 25 youth development workers from Lincoln and Lancaster County are participating in a three-day regional training program called MidWest BEST. Lincoln is one of eight Midwest cities selected to provide this training through YouthNet of Greater Kansas City and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City.