Families enrolled in Parent University at the Learning Community Center of North Omaha are checking out books, learning kits and educational games for learning at home. Research shows that a child’s success in school is directly tied to a child’s vocabulary. With the Early Childhood Partnership still growing, the Learning Community and Omaha Public Library are expanding an 18-month pilot program to build early literacy at home and in school.
When the Learning Community Center of North Omaha opened in January 2015, a Family Fun Day encouraged families to sign up for Parent University. The new program offered family education classes, a resource center with computers, and a small library stocked with learning kits, educational games and books.
In the first year, more than 150 parents and family members joined Parent University. Most have children in the intensive early childhood preschool classrooms in OPS elementary schools, Kellom and Conestoga Magnet. The Learning Community expanded partnership with Omaha Public Library supports parents and community child care providers actively learning new ways to help children succeed.
Partnership Focus Areas for Early Literacy
- Early literacy reading sessions for 132 children in partnership preschool classrooms
- Content aligned with Parent University courses for adults learning new ways to support their children
- Age-appropriate bilingual books for refugee families learning English and reading to their children at home
- Early literacy training and staff materials for 15 community childcare centers
The Early Childhood Partnership includes families with children from birth to age eight in the circle of neighborhoods surrounding the Learning Community Center of North Omaha, 1612 N. 24th St. Expanding outreach gives families and childcare providers with limited transportation easy access to activities, educational games, books and training. Jamalia Parker, director of Learning Community Family Engagement says the partnership with Omaha Public Library is valuable to children and the caring adults who want to make a difference in their lives. “We’re now working with more than 200 children and the caring adults in their lives. This two-generation approach is critical to a child’s healthy development and academic success.”
More than 50 generous community organizations contribute free or reduced-cost expertise to Learning Community programs in North and South Omaha.