Nebraska Centers of Excellence

Centers of Excellence (CoE) grants were awarded in 2020-21 to Nebraska school and community-based ELO programs and nonprofit organizations that have expertise in an area related to ELO programming, staffing and partnership development. Each CoE developed professional development and curriculum resources, as well as shared best practices to statewide audiences to help Nebraska afterschool programs build capacity and enhance quality.  

Content areas are listed below.  In addition to the resources listed below, coaching may also be available to Nebraska ELO programs.  Please contact Sandy Day at if you are interested in coaching regarding specific content listed below.  

Civic Engagement-Service Learning

Civic Nebraska creates a more modern, robust democracy for all Nebraskans via youth civic leadership, civic health programs, and voting rights initiatives.  Contact Kent Day at for programming and assistance related to Civic Participation and Community Engagement through Service Learning.

Professional Development Workshops

Collective for Youth offers numerous learning opportunities for youth development professionals that are designed to improve practices and outcomes, including regularly scheduled community workshops as well as customized trainings. Training participants usually receive childcare training hour credits for licensed school-age programs in Nebraska. 


Cozad Afterschool Program, through the leadership of their former director, has developed an expansive year-round gardening program for their afterschool and summer programs, as well as school-day programming.  

Gardening Training and PD Videos: contact 

Wildlife Education

Nebraska Game and Parks works to connect people to the natural world and supports conservation in Nebraska.

Wildlife Education Programming & Resources

Wild Curriculum Guides

High School Student Staffing Model

Lexington Afterschool Programs *For coaching and support with this model from Lexington’s program director, contact Patricia Stewart at

Full Service Community Schools

Lincoln Community Learning Centers provide a delivery model to support youth, families, and neighborhoods as they strive to be successful, thriving, and strong. 

Webinar Series Overview Video

Developing Local Partnerships

North Platte Public Schools Kids Klub *For coaching and support with this model from Kid’s Klub program director, contact Carrie Lienemann at

Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Virtual Classes and Programs

Sea Lion Shores Curriculum: Students will focus on ocean health information, advocacy, and
engagement opportunities with emphasis on preserving biological diversity. Lessons focus on ocean health challenges faced by ocean wildlife (especially sea lions) and the conservation of the ocean.  To access this curriculum, contact Elizabeth Mulkerrin at 

Action-Oriented Programming Delivered Online

Rabble Mill/The Bay has transformed The Bay’s in-real-life counterculture programming — skateboarding, music, and art — into three program tracks designed to uniquely engage upper elementary and middle school students: Skate School, Go Live (digital music), and Capture
It (digital photography)

Capture It & Creatives’ Collective Curricula:

Go Live Curricula:

Skate School Curricula:

Shoebox Science Kits

UNL Morrill Hall  Fourteen shoebox kits to choose from.  Small specimen collections included in the kits with an activity guide for educational use. 

Morrill Hall Shoebox Science Kits–Powerpoint


UNO STEM4U provides quality educational after school activities focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for K-12 students

STEM 4U Character Introductions

STEM4U Career Videos

Aquaponics and Gardening

Whispering Roots educates students in “Next Generation” farming techniques, hunger alleviation strategies and healthy food production through classroom instruction and hands on learning. 

Gardening and Growing PD Videos (15 videos)

Wildlife Safari Park

Educational Programs

Nebraska Pollinators Curricula: contact the Education Department at (402) 738-2092 for more information.

Resources have been developed, researched and tested by Beyond School Bells.