Rescheduled 2021 Conference

2021 GetConnected Conference#GetConnected2022

February 25, 2022
CHI Health Center / 455 N 10th St / Omaha-NE

The Gifts of ImperfectionThe Gifts of Imperfection
12:00 PM CST & 11:00 AM MST (US and Canada)

Friday March 4th:     Wholehearted Living (Pgs. ix – 30)
Friday March 11th:   You Are Enough (Pgs. 31 – 62)
Friday March 18th:   Cultivating Authenticity (Pgs. 63 – 85)
Friday March 25th:   Cultivating Gratitude, Joy, Intuition and Creativity (Pgs. 87 – 105)
Friday April 1st:         Celebrating Play and Rest (Pgs. 105 – 124)


The Gifts of Imperfection: Your Guide to a Wholehearted Life, Brene Brown

Your Guide to a Wholehearted Life: 10th Anniversary Edition
This book is an invitation to join a wholehearted revolution. A small, quiet grassroots movement that starts with each of us saying, “My story matters because I matter.” A movement where we can take to the streets with our messy, heartbreaking, grace-filled, and joyful lives. A movement fueled by freedom that comes when we stop pretending everything is OK when it isn’t. A call that rises up from our bellies when we find the courage to celebrate those intensely joyful moments even though we’ve convinced ourselves that savoring happiness is inviting disaster. Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance.

Bob Whitehouse ELO Policy Champion Award

Regent Bob Whitehouse has been a lifelong champion of education. He was elected to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents in 2006, was reelected in 2012 and served as Chairman of the Board in 2011 and 2017. Throughout his long career, Bob also worked as a teacher and coach at Omaha Central High school, Principal at Bryan Senior High School, Adjunct Professor at UNO, Coordinator of the Educational Leadership Institute, Education Consultant for OPS. Later in his career, Bob shifted his focus to expanded learning opportunities, serving as the first Coordinator of the Middle School Learning Initiative, Board Chair of Collective for Youth and on the leadership team for Beyond School Bells. Nebraska would be hard-pressed to find another person in this state who has dedicated their life so fully to supporting educational excellence and expanded learning opportunities. Because of his outstanding leadership, conference committee created annual Policy Champion award in his name.

2019 Awardee -Former Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler
Chris Beutler grew up in Omaha. He attended Yale, was inspired by President John F. Kennedy to serve in the Peace Corps, then got drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. He attended law school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and he eventually settled back in Lincoln. He always wanted a career in public service, so when a legislative seat opened up in the district where he lived, he ran and won in 1978. Chris served in the legislature until 2007. That’s the same year he was elected mayor of Lincoln. In his twelve year service as mayor, Chris placed a heavy emphasis on partnerships with companies, nonprofits and other governmental entities, which were key to many of the major positive changes to Lincoln in the past 12 years, including the construction of Pinnacle Bank Arena. His championing of afterschool education, arts infrastructure and parks and recreation helped lead Lincoln to its vibrancy today. Chris is married to wife Judy Beutler and five grown children plus grandchildren that keep him busy in this next chapter of his life.

2018 Awardee – Senator Merv Riepe
Riepe graduated from Griswold High School in 1960, then served as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy from 1960 to 1963. In 1968, he received a B.S. in finance from the University of Nebraska at Omaha; in 1970, an M.A. in health policy and management from the University of Iowa. After leaving the Navy, Riepe worked in the field of health-care management. In 1964, he was named director of the Respiratory Therapy Department at Bergan Mercy Medical Center in Omaha. He eventually served, at various times, as chief operating officer and interim CEO of Bergan Mercy; as president of Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa; and as president of Children’s Physicians, a joint venture of Omaha’s Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Creighton University. After retiring from Children’s Health Network in 2008, he worked as a health-care consultant.

Pictured left to right: Senator Merv Riepe, Senator Anna Wishart, and Regent Bob Whitehouse

2018 Business Champion Award

NextEra Wind Energy
We’re working with the communities we serve to make them even better places to work and raise families. One of the ways we do this is by supporting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiatives that prepare students for good-paying jobs and provide the technical skills that are highly valued in our business. We support programs for students and teachers at all grade levels. To view NextEra Energy locations click here.

Anna Wishart, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
Kimberly Dickey, NextEra Energy
Tim Gay, Catalyst Public Affairs

2018 Making a Difference Awards

The Making a Difference Awards were presented to afterschool program leaders by Jennifer Jones, Beyond School Bells. Awardees have led Nebraska afterschool programs for five years or more.  Congratulations to all!

Making a Difference AwardPictured left to right, Front Row: Michelle Arehart (Kearney), Marcia Fritz (Cozad), Carrie Hoagland (Garden County, Oshkosh), Nicole Everingham (Collective for Youth, Omaha), Amy Vernon (York). Back Row: Lorna Eliason (Chadron), Patricia Sanchez-Stewart (Lexington), Megan Addison (Collective for Youth, Omaha), Carrie Lienemann (North Platte), Gwyn Williams (Collective for Youth, Omaha), Stacey Whiting (Columbus). Not pictured: Leah Hladik (Fremont) and Barb Ross (Minatare).

The GetConnected Afterschool Conference provides an opportunity for attendees to visit 25 Walk N Talk exhibit tables between the hours of 7:45 AM and 12:00 PM. Walk N Talk tables are hosted by statewide partners interested in enhancing your afterschool or summer program with free or low-cost resources including afterschool curriculum, materials, professional development opportunities, virtual field trips and more.

Exhibit tables for the February 25, 2022 GetConnected Afterschool Conference include:

GetConnected February 25, 20227:45 AM        Registration, Breakfast and visit Walk N Talk display tables

8:30 AM       Opening session

9:55 AM       Workshop 1

10:55 AM     Workshop 2

12:00 PM      Lunch, awards, and featured speakers

1:30 PM        Workshop 3

2:30 PM        Workshop 4

3:20  PM       Networking activity

4:00 PM        Door Prizes

Hands-On Kit Workshops
Feb 25, 2022 GetConnected Conference
Feb 3 Kit workshop

Open to In-Person Conference attendees only. These six breakout sessions require a pre-registration fee of $25 each. Space is limited. The Hands-On Kit Workshop Registration link is provided in the EventBrite confirmation email you received when registering for the In-Person Conference.

You may register for one of the workshops during Workshop 1, 9:55 AM to 10:45 AM. Registration fee is $25.00 and includes an afterschool kit you will receive during the workshop.

Taking FlightWorkshop 1: Taking Flight: Creating an Afterschool Bird Club
Facilitator:  Amber Schiltz from Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

During this session, participants will learn about an afterschool bird curriculum. The 8-week Afterschool Bird Club curriculum was designed to encourage students to discover relevant scientific concepts such as adaptations, habitat, and life cycles all while discovering the world of birds. Towards the end of the program students will gain confidence and leadership skills by taking what they’ve learned and helping to facilitate a bird themed Family Nature Night for their schools. Participants will leave the session with the curriculum and materials, like a bird feeder, to help them implement Afterschool Bird Club at their school.

You may register for one of the workshops during Workshop 2, 10:55 AM to 11:45 AM. Registration fee is $25.00 and includes an afterschool kit you will receive during the workshop.

Fall in Love with TreesWorkshop 2: “Fall” in Love with Trees! Project Learning Tree K-2 Workshop
Facilitator:  Jack Hilgert from Nebraska Forest Service

Learn new strategies for engaging students in outdoor, environmental experiences! Gain access to Project Learning Tree’s Sensational Trees Guide featuring three activities for K-2 that invite young learners to investigate trees using their senses. Exploring nature is a complete sensory experience, and trees also provide a natural focal point for sensory explorations. Participants will receive a certificate for 1 hour of in-service credit for childcare licensing and leave the session ready to “Fall” in Love with Trees even in the Spring.

You may register for one of the workshops during Workshop 3, 1:30 PM to 2:20 PM. Registration fee is $25.00 and includes an afterschool kit you will receive during the workshop.

Tinker, Explore and Create Entrepreneurs with TEC BoxWorkshop 3A: Tinker, Explore and Create Entrepreneurs with TEC Box
Facilitators:  Tracy Pracheil & Jacie Milius from Nebraska 4-H

Experience the exciting world of entrepreneurship; where the possibilities are endless, and the only limitation is your imagination.  The TEC Box, Tinker. Explore. Create, introduces the skills of entrepreneurs, such as active listening, empathy and creative problem-solving.  Try some of the activities; find your inner entrepreneur. Participants will leave the session with their own TEC Box and the skills to use it in programming for grades 1-5.

Health and Wellbeing in the Afterschool ProgramWorkshop 3B: Health and Wellbeing in the Afterschool Program
Facilitators:  Jessie Coffey & Erika Wibble from Nebraska Department of Education

Afterschool program personnel play a vital role in promoting mental health and well-being and identifying and responding to emerging social- emotion or mental health needs in children and adolescents. However, individuals in the education and out of school program sector do not receive the education, training, or ongoing support needed to respond to social-emotional or mental health needs in the afterschool setting. Learn about how the afterschool setting can assist with providing a safe and welcoming space, supportive of fostering social-emotional competencies and practices to support and nurture positive mental health practices. Participants will leave the session ready to use this kit to create a “calming corner” in their afterschool program.

You may register for one of the workshops during Workshop 4, 2:30 PM to 3:20 PM. Registration fee is $25.00 and includes an afterschool kit you will receive during the workshop.

Workshop 4A: Entomology in Afterschool
Facilitator:  Michael Eskelson from Nebraska 4-H

Insects are the perfect vehicle to capture the attention of youth who may be taken aback by insects or utterly fascinated by them. Insects are ubiquitous and diverse animals. Learn to pin and ID insects to their scientific order. Participants will leave the session ready with everything they need to collect and create an insect collection.

10-Minute Nature StudiesWorkshop 4B: 10-Minute Nature Studies
Facilitator:  Monica Macoubrie from Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Everyone loves science and wants to do science studies. But teachers and professionals often feel overwhelmed by the time they think it is going to take. In this session we will focus on 10 different ways to study nature when you only have 10 minutes a day. From insects to plants to rocks, we will cover it all, quickly, but efficiently!

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton Omaha (1001 Cass Street). The hotel is directly connected via sky bridge to the CHI Health Event Center and less than a mile from the Old Market Entertainment District. You may make reservations online at If you prefer to call (402.998.3400), refer to the GetConnected room block or the group code “GET”. The discounted group room rate is $134 (single or double), $144 (triple), $154 (quad). The overnight parking rate for GetConnected hotel guests will be discounted to $7.00/night.

Several other hotels are located within the vicinity.

CHI Health Center
455 N 10th St, Omaha NE

Floor Plan

Meeting Room Level

Meeting Room Level

Conference Partners

Updated October 7, 2022 8:09am