2024 Webinar Series
Conversation in the Nebraska Afterschool Space

A facilitated, practical nuts & bolts series for afterschool program leaders and staff.

Join Us!
Every 1st & 3rd Thursday of each month.
12:00 – 12:30 pm Central Time

Webinars will be RECORDED for future viewing

If you would like to receive information regarding future webinars, please fill out this form.

This 30-minute workshop is co-sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Center Program and may be used to satisfy .5 hours of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ annual training requirements for child care licensing.

Certificate of ParticipationReport participation in each webinar here in order to receive a certificate of attendance.  Certificates will be issued and emailed monthly.

Upcoming Webinars

June 6, 2024 – Whole Child Support for Out of School Time Programs
Learn about the wide variety of supports and resources that are available from the Whole Child Program to support your summer and after school program.
Supporting a Whole Child In Out of School Time Programs

Jessie Coffey, NDE,

May 16, 2024 – Summer Outdoor and Environmental Education
Description of resources for Outdoor and EE as well as examples from programs across NE
Slide Presentation

Dakota Staggs, Assistant VP, Beyond School Bells,

GetConnected at the 2004 Nebraska Afterschool Conference Saundra Frerichs & Jeff Cole, 5/2/2024

May 2, 2024 – Get Connected at the 2024 Nebraska Afterschool Conference
The 2024 Nebraska Afterschool Conference will be Friday September 27 at the Younes Convention Center in Kearney, NE. Join this session to learn about what you can expect at the conference this year. Updates will include information about keynote speakers, workshops, and Walk & Talk display tables. This year will focus on helping children live, learn and thrive. You’ll come away from the conference with new resources and ideas you can use right away. Hear from conference partners at Beyond School Bells, Nebraska 4-H and Nebraska Department of Education.

Saundra Frerichs, STEM Specialist, Nebraska 4-H,
Jeff Cole, Network Lead, Beyond School Bells,

2024 4-H Summer Reading Connection, Jackie Steffen & Jennifer Hansen, 4/18/2024

April 18, 2024 – 2024 4-H Summer Reading Connections
This year’s Collaborative Summer Reading theme is” Adventures Begin at Your Library”. Dive into the realm of new active learning resources for youth offered by Nebraska Extension and choose your exciting journey.
2024 4-H Summer Reading PowerPoint

Jackie Steffen, Nebraska Extension Early Childhood Educator,
Jennifer Hansen, Nebraska Extension 4-H/Youth Development Educator

TMC Labs and Summer Learning, Jeff Cole, 4/4/2024

April 4, 2024 – TMC Labs and Summer Learning
Discussion of programming opportunities utilizing TMC Labs and a wider discussion about summer learning opportunities.

Jeff Cole, Beyond School Bells – Network Lead,

History Nebraska Educational Resources, Araceli Hernandez, 3/21/2024

March 21, 2024 – History Nebraska Educational Resources
History Nebraska has a mission to collect, preserve, and open to all the histories we share. To achieve this, they offer various statewide educational programs and resources. An educator from History Nebraska will guide you through their online resources, workshops, apps, virtual and onsite programs, and more. These resources have been specifically designed to bring the history of Nebraska to you and your students.

Araceli Hernandez, History Nebraska, Head of Education,

Inside The Shadow, Michael Sibbernsen, 3/7/2024

March 7, 2024 – Inside The Shadow – A (Safe) Look at the Great North American Eclipse of 2024
Astronomy Educator and NASA Solar System Ambassador, Michael Sibbernsen, explores the importance and rarity of the April 8th, 2024 Solar Eclipse. Michael will discuss what you and your students will see from your location, classroom activities that you can do to help prepare, and various methods to safely observe the phenomenon.
2024 Total Solar Eclipse Resources – Branched Oak Observatory

Michael Sibbernsen, Branched Oak Observatory, Director of Education

Data-Driven Marketing: Championing Economic Impact, Joel Bamhall, 2/15/2024

February 15, 2024 – Data-Driven Marketing: Championing Economic Impact
Discover the power of data-driven marketing in this 30-minute training, tailored for 21st Century programs. Gain the skills to independently calculate your program’s economic impact. Witness how real numbers can inspire and empower your team, revealing the true extent of your program’s influence. Learn to craft a compelling narrative supported by tangible statistics, highlighting your program’s profound reach. Join me and transform your approach to marketing by harnessing the potential of data-driven insights.
Joel’s presentation – Excel

Joel Bramhall, Cardinal Community Learning Centers (CCLC) at Crete Public Schools, Director of Federal Programs,

Nebraska's ELO Innovation Invitational, Jeff Cole, 2/1/2024

February 1, 2024 – Nebraska’s ELO Innovation Invitational – A unique opportunity to explore sustainability alongside your ELO colleagues
The second ELO Innovation Invitational is a free event for ELO professionals and advocates that will be held on March 5-6th at UNL’s Innovation Campus. The focus of this year’s conference is on sustainability – and will emphasize strategies on providing high quality, exciting, engaging and cost-effective ELO programs that are right sized to meet the needs of every Nebraska community.

Jeff Cole, Network Lead, Beyond School Bells,

The NICE Book: A New Resource for Schools, Andrea Riley & Chris Cashatt, 1/18/2024

January 18, 2024 – The NICE Book: A New Resource for Schools
In this session, Registered Nurses Andrea Riley and Chris Cashatt will present a new infectious disease guidebook they co-authored to educate those working with kids in a school setting. The NICE book (Nebraskan Infection Control in Education) is a one-stop shop that covers everything from how to clean and disinfect to how to remove a tick, with lots of handouts for parents and tools for schools.

• Andrea Riley, RN BSN, Children’s Nebraska School Health Liaison
and Nebraska State School Nurse Consultant
• Chris Cashatt, BSN, RN, CIC, Nebraska ICAP Infection Preventionist

40 Developmental Assets, Erika Wibbels, 12/21/2023

December 21, 2023 – 40 Developmental Assets

Search Institute provides insight and training on developmental assets. Developmental Assets are the building blocks of healthy development for young people. During this quick 30-minute training we will explore the 40 Developmental Assets and how to implement this framework into your 21st CLC club!
Everyone’s An Asset Builder – PowerPoint

Erika Wibbels, NDE-Healthy Schools Specialist

uBEATS: A Free E-Learning Science and Healthy Science Resource for 6th-12th graders, Deanna Ingram, 12/7/2023

December 7, 2023 – uBEATS: A Free E-Learning Science and Health Science Resource for 6th-12th graders

In this session, the uBEATS Curriculum Specialist will give an overview of the uBEATS program. During this time, our Specialist will discuss ways to implement uBEATS into a middle school or high school after-school program or curricular school group. Attendees will have the opportunity to see our e-modules, ask questions, and actively engage with this resource.

Deanna Ingram, Curriculum and Education Specialist, UNMC Office of Interactive E-Learning

The Power of Asking Questions, Amber Schiltz, 11/16//23

November 16, 2023 – The Power of Asking Better Questions

One of the most effective tools you can work with to increase learning and understanding is people’s own curiosity and interest in the subject. In this webinar, we’ll learn about inquiry based learning, an effective way to light the flame of curiosity and engagement in your students. We’ll also dive into the science and art of asking better questions, and how this leads to greater learning outcomes and deeper connections in your programs.

Amber Schiltz, Board President of the Nebraska Alliance for Conservation & Environmental Education

Teaching Outdoors, Naturally, with Environmental Education, Jack Hilgert, 11/2/23

November 2, 2023 – Teaching Outdoors, Naturally, with Environmental Education

Teach Outdoors, Naturally, with Environmental Education (PowerPoint)
Environmental education (EE) has a host of benefits for students of all ages. Environmental education is all about helping young people gain the knowledge, skills, and motivation to take an active role in protecting the environment, creating a more sustainable future, and becoming informed and engaged citizens. The benefits of environmental education for K-12 students include improvements in areas such as critical thinking, 21st century skills, STEM topics, standardized test scores, social and emotional growth, leadership, citizenship, and confidence.

Understanding these wide-ranging benefits, this session will highlight the various supports from Project Learning Tree and Project WET in Nebraska that are available to you and your program. From professional development and educator trunks to field trips, your Nebraska Forest Service and our partners work tirelessly to empower educators like you with the training and tools they need to integrate high-quality, non-biased environmental education curricula into the lives Nebraska’s children.

Jack Hilgert, Nebraska Forest Service, Conservation Education Coordinator

No Limits Nebraska: Tobacco Prevention Powered by Youth, Ranae Aspen, 10/19/2023

October 19, 2023 – No Limits Nebraska: Tobacco Prevention Powered by Youth

This session will highlight the upcoming youth tobacco prevention events that students can become involved with. Mini grants and the building of a new statewide No Limits Nebraska Youth Leadership Team will be addressed and you will learn how you can engage your students to take out Big Tobacco and create a tobacco-free Nebraska!


View this video for updated information
Deadline for Applications extended to 11/17/2023

Ranae Aspen, Nebraska Department of Education, Youth Tobacco Specialist

Why Play Works book club and Family Engineering Resources, Saundra Frerichs, 10/5/2023

October 5, 2023 – Why Play Works book club and Family Engineering Resources
Learn more about the Why Play Works book club and how you and your team get new ideas about integrating play into your afterschool program. Then get an update about new resources related to family engineering from Click2Engineering.

Saundra Frerichs, STEM Specialist with Click2Science and Nebraska 4-H

The Luminator Program, Braxton Crowder, 9/7/2023

September 7, 2023 – Luminator Program
In this session we will educate our audience on the Past, Present, and Future of our Luminator program.

Braxton Crowder, Experience Manager, Luminator program

BSB Outdoor and Environmental Ed, Dakota Staggs, 7/20/2023

July 20, 2023 – BSB Outdoor and Environmental Ed.
Come learn about Outdoor and Environmental Ed. opportunities through BSB such as our BioBlitz, Environmental Scavenger Hunt, and more!
Environmental Education Curriculum

Dakota Staggs, Assistant VP, Beyond School Bells

Are you prepared?, Scott Stemper, 6/15/2023

June 15, 2023 – Are you prepared? Ready to respond to a Threat, Hazard, or Incident in your Afterschool Program?
This presentation will be an interactive brief session on tools you should use to keep your staff, students, and parents safe in an emergency. This session with be an introduction to school safety which includes your program. Using the Standard Response Protocol bring common language and common signage to help protect you AND everyone else.

Scott Stemper, Department of Education – Emergency Operations Planning Specialist

Splash into Summer Fun, Jack Hilgert, 6/1/2023

June 1, 2023 – Splash into Summer Fun with Project WET and Project Learning Tree, Learn about Bloom Box @School

PLT Bloom Box
Growing Gardeners with Bloom Box
Gear up for fun in the summer sun with Project Learning Tree and Project WET programming. During this webinar we will learn about professional learning, educator trunks, field trips, and more all available to you and your students from your Nebraska Forest Service and our statewide network of partners.

One program we will highlight is the upcoming semester of Bloom Box @School. This unique partnership with the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, funded by the Extended Learning Opportunity Grant, provides a 100 sq ft pollinator garden and/or 1- 10 trees for planting at your school: free of monetary cost to your program.

Now more than ever students need connections to the outdoors and natural world through quality environmental education experiences. Project Learning Tree and Project WET (Water Education Today) which are award-winning, internationally-utilized, environmental education curricula that align to the state and national standards. Give your students experiences they will never forget with PLT and WET!

▪ Jack Hilgert, Conservation Education Coordinator, Nebraska Forest Service
▪ Sarah Buckley, Sustainable Landscapes Coordinator, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum


    •  Through our Bloom Box @school program, funded by the Extended Learning Opportunity Grant, we can provide a 100 sq ft pollinator garden and/or 1- 10 trees for planting at your school: free of monetary cost to your program. This is a great opportunity to enrich the fall semester as leaves change colors and autumn takes hold of Nebraska. Your commitment to this program will be to have 1-2 staff members trained in Project Learning Tree curriculum (6 hours), attend a Garden Training webinar (1 hour), and guide your students through 6 habitat related activities (15 student contact hours). Each eligible school can plant a garden and/or trees although we recommend spreading the plantings over multiple seasons. Schools can receive 1-10 trees, as is appropriate for the space on your campus.  To be part of the Bloom Box @school program, we will need to receive a Commitment to Plant from you by July 31st. We are also happy to take commitments for future planting seasons through spring 2024 at any time.
    • Application Form.
  • Affiliate Education Centers: Tree Trunks
    • Nebraska PLT has developed regional partnerships with organizations across the tree-planter’s state. Each center houses “Tree Trunks” that can be checked out by educators and the public which include PLT curriculum and additional materials.
  • Forest Field Trips
    • Bring your students to the forest to explore, play, and learn during a field trip! These experiences are perfect for daycares, summer camps, and school/youth groups. Expose your students to a real forest before or after using PLT in the classroom.
  • Bring the Forest to Your Classroom
    • Can’t take your students on a field trip? Bring the forest to your school with an Outreach Program from Nebraska PLT! We can visit schools both in person and virtually via zoom technology. Click the link for a menu of offerings.
  • Apply PLT Activities through Nebraska 4H
    • Nebraska PLT works closely with Nebraska 4H to support forestry education including contests at the County and State Fairs. Students can apply knowledge gained through PLT activities to the 4H Fair Exhibits and Tree ID Contests while earning awards.
  • Register for Our eNewsletter
    • Learn what Nebraska PLT has to offer each month via email! Upcoming workshops, activity ideas, grant announcements, and other environmental education opportunities are featured to enrich you and your students’ educational journey to appreciate trees.
  • Past eNewsletter Issues
    • Miss out on an eNewsletter? Just register but want to know what is happening right now? Explore past issues of our PLT eNewsletter as well as other Nebraska Forest Service announcements here.

Discover and Design, Jackie Steffen & LaDonna Werth, 5/18/2023

May 18, 2023 – Discover and Design

Discover and Design is a newly developed website that provides age-appropriate, engaging activities for young children birth-8. New lessons are added quarterly. Discover and Design is a part of the Fit and Healthy Kids multi-state program.
StayConnected Discover and Design.pptx
2022 Discover & Design flyer

Jackie Steffen, Nebraska Extension, Nebraska Early Childhood Extension Educator,

College and Career Readiness Toolkit, Jennifer Jones, 5/4/23

May 4, 2023 – College and Career Readiness Toolkit

Beyond School Bells will debut our new suite of Career & College Readiness (CCR) resources for afterschool programs in Nebraska. We will share the BSB College and Career Readiness Toolkit for afterschool educators – which provides comprehensive approach for CCR programs in afterschool, as well as information on the specific opportunities youth have for future readiness in Nebraska. Learn how you and your staff can be prepared with tools and information to excel at the CCR programs you provide to youth.

Jennifer Jones, Beyond School Bells, Senior Project Director,

Beyond School Bells College and Career Readiness Toolkit

Beyond School Bells “So you want to be a…” College Career Ready Curriculum

Maryland Out of School Time College Career Ready Initiative

Beginning a Board Game Club, Brian Welch, 4/20/23

April 20, 2023 – Beginning a Board Game Club

In a world saturated with technology, board games can provide mental and social stimulation in an engaging package. Join us to learn about key steps and take-aways to starting a board game club, including suggested games to begin with for different age and ability levels.

Brian Welch, NDE – Afterschool, Family, and Community Engagement Specialist,

4-H Reading Connections Resources: All Together Now, Jackie Steffen & Jennifer Hansen, 4/6/23

April 6, 2023 – 2023 4-H Reading Connections Resources: All Together Now

In our world today, emotional intelligence is vital to building relationships in early childhood throughout adulthood. This year’s 4-H Reading Connections program focuses on topics such as friendship, unity, and diversity to help children begin to build the skills needed each and every day with each and every interaction. Join this webinar to learn engaging ways to incorporate reading and extended learning opportunities into your summer program.
4-H Reading Connections (pptx)
4-H Reading Connections (PDF)

Jackie Steffen, Nebraska Early Childhood Extension Educator,
Jennifer Hansen, 4-H Youth Development Educator

10 Minutes to Better Behavior, Carrie Gottschalk, 3/16/23

10 Minutes to Better Behavior resource


March 16, 2023 – 10 Minutes to Better Behavior

This session walks through a series of “grab-and-go” behavior management videos created specifically for staff caring for school-age children in out-of-school programs. All sessions are 10 minutes or less, introduce and describe a specific strategy to help with classroom management, and end with instructions for practice and next steps. Videos can be used when onboarding new staff, as well as for ongoing professional development throughout the year.

Carrie Gottschalk, NE Extension Engagement Zone Coordinator

Youth Engagement Through Sport & Esports, Graeme Eaglesham, 3/2/2023

Future Kids Partner SpotlightMarch 2, 2023 – Youth Engagement Through Sport & Esports

Future Kids is Nebraska’s largest afterschool sports program. The workshop shall describe how Future Kids uses sport as a vehicle to get kids active and engaged statewide!

Graeme Eaglesham, Future Kids CEO

ELO Innovation Invitational - an Overview, Jeff Cole, 2/16/2023

February 16, 2023 – ELO Innovation Invitational – an Overview

In this session we will be discussing the upcoming ELO Innovation Invitational, a no-cost conference BSB is hosting in partnership with NDE and NE Extension at UNL’s Innovation Campus conference center on March 7 – 9th. The conference will provide afterschool and summer program providers and advocates with opportunities to network with peers as you explore emerging trends in ELO programs, such as the value of play, girls in STEM, environmental education, entrepreneurship, career exploration, mentorship and programming meeting the unique developmental needs of boys. We will share research about what Nebraska youth want in afterschool programs as we explore strategies to provide more youth with opportunities for exciting, hands-on, engaged learning that characterize Nebraska’s school-based and community-powered afterschool and summer programs. Participants will also learn how afterschool staff can help cultivate purpose and hope to meet important youth needs and elevate afterschool and summer programs as an essential component of every Nebraska community’s learning environment.

Jeff Cole, Network Lead, Beyond School Bells

Grants for arts field trips and visiting artists, Anne Alston & Joshua Brown, 2/2/2023

February 2, 2023 – Grants for arts field trips and visiting artists

Learn about arts opportunities and grants that are available to schools and after-school provider organizations. The Nebraska Arts Council has a number of programs that you may take advantage of!

Anne Alston, NE Arts Council Program Specialist
Joshua Brown, NE Arts Council Program Coordinator

Walk to Unlock Nebraska - Spring Pilot - Erika Wibbels, 1/19/23

January 19, 2023 – Walk to Unlock Nebraska – Spring Pilot (or Eastern Spring Pilot)


Students are loving Walk to Unlock Nebraska, don’t miss out!!

Walk to Unlock Nebraska invites students to combine exercise and learning through a fun, competitive virtual platform that rewards physical activity with fascinating historical, geographical, and agriculture information about our state.
The program provides checkpoints along routes across the state for youth (and their teachers) to virtually visit while tracking physical activity time, steps and/or miles. Walk to Unlock Nebraska was created with the idea of combining academic enrichment and physical activity:
1. This learning experience is targeted for students in kindergarten through eighth grade
2. Multiple lesson topics include science, social studies, math, language arts, nutrition and more
3. Virtual field trips, videos, experiments, & more!
4. Customizable: Teacher determines the structure of program & physical activity

Erika Wibbels, NDE – Healthy Schools Specialist

After School Nutrition Celebrations and Summer 2023! - Eric Savaiano & Kayte Partch, 1/5/23

January 5, 2023 – After School Nutrition Celebrations and Summer 2023!

Feeding students through after school snacks and suppers is a big job! The Nebraska SNAC and NDE invite you to celebrate the hard work of nutrition staff with a unique event during the week of February 6-10, 2023. Come to the webinar to access a fun idea toolkit, learn more about the statewide effort, and figure out a plan.

We will also give an overview of the CACFP afterschool snacks and suppers program, a refresher on summer meals opportunities for 2023, and exciting developments in Nebraska Farm to School.

  • Eric Savaiano, Nebraska Student Nutrition Action Committee (SNAC) Facilitator / Nebraska Appleseed Program Manager for Food and Nutrition Access
  • Kayte Partch, NDE Nutrition Services Director

2022 GetConnected Webinar Recordings

2021 StayConnected Webinar Recordings

2020 StayConnected Webinar Recordings

Complete this form if you are interested in leading a StayConnected discussion with afterschool program leaders, staff and community partners. Sessions are 30 minutes in length and should focus on information or resources that are relevant to leading or working in a quality afterschool program. Webinars are scheduled the first and third Thursday of each month beginning at 12:00 Noon Central Time. If you have questions or would like assistance developing an idea, contact Kim Larson.

Featured Program

May 2, 2024 – Get Connected at the 2024 Nebraska Afterschool Conference
The 2024 Nebraska Afterschool Conference will be Friday September 27 at the Younes Convention Center in Kearney, NE. Join this session to learn about what you can expect at the conference this year. Updates will include information about keynote speakers, workshops, and Walk & Talk display tables. This year will focus on helping children live, learn and thrive. You’ll come away from the conference with new resources and ideas you can use right away. Hear from conference partners at Beyond School Bells, Nebraska 4-H and Nebraska Department of Education.

Saundra Frerichs, STEM Specialist, Nebraska 4-H,
Jeff Cole, Network Lead, Beyond School Bells,


Updated June 11, 2024 12:09pm