Before and Beyond the Bell


Ideas? Questions? Engage with us!



Tweet us
your Comments!

the Conversation!


Research shows that regular participation in high quality early child care and out-of-school time (OST) programs can have a significant and positive impact on children’s academic performance as well as on their social and emotional well-being.

This segment of the State of Education in Nebraska explores how these early care and OST learning programs are making a difference in the lives of Nebraska children and how viewers can get involved to support school-community partnerships in their communities.  National and state leaders discuss how  these programs provide Nebraska youth with the opportunities they need to thrive in school and in life.  Also, two panels of Nebraska community leaders share examples of activities that are taking place right now in communities across our state.

Nebraska's 2012 graduation rate tied for third highest in the nation. But there is still cause for concern with the graduation gap among student subgroups.

"Today’s economy demands that we provide all our youth with all the opportunities they need to be successful in school.  Research shows that regular participation in high quality expanded learning time programs that build on rather than replace Nebraska’s quality public and private schools can have a dramatic, positive impact on participating youth, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds."
      — Jeff Cole, Associate Vice President of
          School Community Partnerships at the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation




Core Issues:
Early Childhood Experiences
and Academic Performance

First Five Nebraska’s printable document on the importance of early care and learning.

Morton Middle School: Expanded Learning Opportunities for Young Minds

See how Morton Middle School's Panther Pack extended-day program provides academic and emotional support for children of working families from all socioeconomic backgrounds in this video from NElovesPS.




Program Moderator
Dr. Robert L. Whitehouse

UNL Board of Regents, Papillion. Educational Consultant & retired Principal, Omaha Bryan Senior H.S.
Dr. Helen Raikes
Department of Child, Youth & Family Studies, University of Nebraska Lincoln Center on Children, Families & the Law Associate
Gywnn Hughes
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Program Director, Learning Beyond the Classroom Initiative
Priscilla Little
The Wallace Foundation Initiative Manager
Dr. Roger Breed
Nebraska Department of Education Commissioner
Marty Blank
Institute for Educational Leadership President; Coalition for Community Schools Director
Gladys Haynes
Educare Executive Director
Dr. Steve Joel
Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent
Dr. Marty Mahler
Nebraska P-16 Initiative  Executive Director
Lea Ann Johnson
Lincoln Community Learning Centers (CLC)  Initiative Coordinator
Barb Bartle
Lincoln Community Foundation President
Larry Johnson
Nebraska Trucking Association President
Thomas Warren, Sr.
President / CEO, Urban League of Nebraska
Robin McDannel
United Way of Lincoln & Lancaster County, Senior Director of Community Impact / Readers, Tutors and Mentors Project




Lincoln Community Learning Center












Omaha Morton Middle School Community Learning Center

Multiple Students, Length = 7:39




NET Learning Services
Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
Nebraska Department of Education
Nebraska Loves Public Schools
America’s Promise Alliance Grad Nation
Avenue Scholars Foundation
Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Center for Children, Families, and the Law
First Five Nebraska
Coalition for Community Schools
Lincoln Community Foundation
Lincoln Public Schools
Nebraska Community Learning Center Network
Nebraska Trucking Association

Omaha Public Schools
Project Liftoff
Urban League of Nebraska
United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County

United Way Readers, Tutors and Mentors


© 2012

American Graduate is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in partnership with America's Promise Alliance, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.