The North Platte Public Schools Kids Klub after-school program is celebrating its professional staff this week.
The National AfterSchool Association sets aside one week a year to bring attention to the work done by people like Kids Klub director Carrie Lienemann and her staff. This year After-School Professionals Appreciation Week is April 22-26.
“We will be going into our 20th year (for the 2019-20 school year),” Lienemann said of Kids Klub. “We started with a Peter Kiewit Foundation grant, and Community Connections was our partner and ran everything for us, the business side of things.”
She said the North Platte Public School District absorbed the program about 10 years ago.
“Now we are directly under North Platte Public Schools.” Lienemann said. “After the Peter Kiewit grant, we went to the 21st Century Learning Center grant, which is federally funded but given out by the state.”
The Nebraska Department of Education oversees that grant.
“I’ve been with the district for 15 years, with Kids Klub for 10 years and director for five,” Lienemann said. “I have a staff of about 40; probably one-half are North Platte High School students, and they do get internship credit for working for us — and a paycheck.”
There are 1,100 kids enrolled in Kids Klub and this year the summer program will accept 175 kids, up from 150 last year. She said there are people lining up at 4 a.m. on registration day just to get their kids into the summer program.
“The North Platte Public Schools Kids Klub is a great program,” said NPPS Superintendent Ron Hanson. “It is a locally developed school and community approach to help kids learn and grow in an environment that is safe, caring and supportive.”
He said the program helps families balance work and home activities.
“Students have an opportunity to participate in many hands-on activities, discover new interests, receive nutritious snacks and engage in a multitude of enriching activities,” Hanson said. “The North Platte Public Schools Kids Klub director, Carrie Lienemann, is a ‘rock star.’”
Hanson said Lienemann and the Kids Klub staff go above and beyond the call of duty.
“We are very fortunate to have this program offering,” Hanson said.
Lienemann recently had the opportunity to share the success of the local program on a national platform.
“Just this year, I was selected to go to New York to the National AfterSchool conference and give a presentation on how to make front-page news in your rural after-school program,” Lienemann said.
She had compiled a scrapbook of front-page stories in The Telegraph, and they amounted to 50 stories in the past several years.
“I had 20 different states (representatives) in my session, so those people came to my session and they all were just nuts about what we had done here,” Lienemann said. “We believe after-school professionals make a difference in the lives of young people, and we encourage everyone to join us this week in thanking the after-school professionals in their lives.”
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