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Summer Learning Programs

Summer Math Challenge

The Summer Math Challenge is a FREE math program designed to help kids retain math skills learned during the previous year. The six-week program offers daily emails with fun activities and resources at each student’s ability level.

How do I sign up?

1. Go to to enroll your child.
2. Starting Monday, June 18th, check your inbox for daily emails with fun
activities and resources.
3. Visit every day to read about weekly
math concepts and earn badges.
4. When the program ends on Friday, July 27th, print an award certificate
to celebrate your child’s summer accomplishments!

Summer Math Challenge Flyer – English

Summer Math Challenge Flyer – Español

Math Challenge Certificate

Summer Reading Challenge

What is “Find a Book”?

“Find a Book” is a free, fun and easy way to identify books based on a child’s reading level (Lexile® measure) and interests.

Who is it for?

“Find a Book” is  for everyone! With over  300,000 books
included, “Find a Book” connects any reader with “just right” books.


Use “Find a Book” to build custom book lists for readers at all ability levels, and then locate your selections at your local public library.

1. Go to
2. Enter the child’s Lexile measure of grade level.
3. Pick books that match the child’s interests.
4. View and refine the search results.

Find A Book Flyer – English

Find A Book Flyer – Español

Summer Reading Challenge Certificate

The Write Way Workshops

New to teaching and feeling uncertain about how to best incorporate writing into the curriculum? How to encourage students to love writing? 

These single-day sessions will provide new (0-5 years) upper elementary, middle, and high school ELA teachers with a number of practical, evidence-based, and high-leverage writing strategies that are both powerful and engaging.

 Participants will learn a number of strategies aligned with the 2014 Nebraska ELA standards, including a special emphasis on text-dependent analysis (TDA).

Please email Marissa Payzant with your date selection:

PLEASE NOTE: The May 31 and June 8 sessions are full. Registration is still available for June 15 only.

Thursday, May 31, 2018   Friday, June 8, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018

Sessions will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Lincoln Downtown/Haymarket, in Lincoln, Nebraska

9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. each day

Participants will receive a $75 stipend to help cover the costs of mileage and/or lodging. Lunch and parking provided.

The Write Way flyer FINAL


Standards Resources

2014 ELA Standards Glossary (PDF)

FAQs for 2014 ELA Standards (PDF)

ELA Crosswalks:

SIT Flyer (PDF)

Text Dependent Analysis (TDA)

Example TDA Prompts

TDA Prompt Guidelines

TDA Fall 2016 Workshops (PowerPoint)

Text-Dependent Analysis (TDA) Rubric (PDF)

TDA Writer’s Checklist (English)

TDA Writer’s Checklist (Spanish)

Grade and Passage NameStudent SamplesScoring Guide
Grade 3 – Elephant TalkStudent SamplesScoring Guide
Grade 3 – Safe SlumberStudent SamplesScoring Guide
Grade 4 – One Lucky FishStudent SamplesScoring Guide
Grade 4 – Living Off the EarthStudent SamplesScoring Guide
Grade 5 – Margaret KnightStudent SamplesScoring Guide
Grade 6 – Monarch MigrationStudent SamplesScoring Guide
Grade 6 – A Highway of Water Student SamplesScoring Guide
Grade 7 – Labels for LifeStudent SamplesScoring Guide
Grade 8 – There’s Still Gold in Those Hills & Letter from a Gold MinerStudent SamplesScoring Guide
Grade 8 – Atoms of SoundStudent SamplesScoring Guide 
Grade 11 – EclipseNot AvailableScoring Guide

2014 Student-Friendly Standards Resources

2014 Student-Friendly ELA Standards — Grade level indicators added to all grades: 

SF one-pager KINDERGARTENSF one-pager GRADE 1  
SF one-pager GRADE 2 SF one-pager GRADE 3
SF one-pager GRADE 4SF one-pager GRADE 5
SF one-pager GRADE 6SF one-pager GRADE 7
SF one-pager GRADE 8 SF one-pager GRADE 10
SF one-pager GRADE 12Complete SF Standards Nov 2017
Combined K_2 English SF StandardsCombined 3_5 English SF Standards
Combined 6_8 English SF StandardsCombined 10_12 English SF Standards
SpanishSF one-pager KINDERGARTENSpanishSF one-pager GRADE 1
SpanishSF one-pager GRADE 2SpanishSF one-pager GRADE 3
SpanishSF one-pager GRADE 4SpanishSF one-pager GRADE 5
SpanishSF one-pager GRADE 6SpanishSF one-pager GRADE 7 
SpanishSF one-pager GRADE 8SpanishSF one-pager GRADE 10
SpanishSF one-pager GRADE 12Complete Set Spanish Student Friendly Standards (Jan 2018)
Combined K_2 SF Spanish StandardsCombined 3_5 SF Spanish Standards
Combined 6_8 SF Spanish StandardsCombined 10_12 SF Spanish Standards

Language_Arts_Standards_Explanation_Brochure (English) PDF

Spanish_Language_Arts_Standards_Explanation_Brochure (Spanish) PDF







Resource logo

Poetry Out Loud National Contest

Sign up now for Poetry Out Loud, a national contest that encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. You’ll find complete information, registration forms and a great new Youtube video (2 min.) on the Nebraska Arts Council website. All Nebraska high schools (grades 9-12) are invited to participate free of charge; registrations are due by November 1. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to regional and state competitions, and ultimately to the National Finals. Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington to compete for the national championship. The state winner’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.
Poetry Out Loud satisfies more than half of the NCTE English Language Arts Standards. The Teachers’ Guide includes all elements the teacher needs to implement the program, from tools to help students memorize and perform great poems, to optional lesson plans to give students the opportunity to discuss poems and to write poetry of their own.  The schedule and curriculum for Poetry Out Loud have been designed to fit into a teacher’s busy schedule without much disruption. The program takes place in the classroom over about two to three weeks, according to each teacher’s interest and schedule, and will not require full class periods during that time. Also, the Nebraska Arts Council can arrange for an actor or poet who specializes in poetry recitation to lead workshops in your school free of charge.



Calendar Logo

2017 Events

March 17, 2017NEST “Why I Want to Go to College” Writing Contest – 7 & 8 gradersContest Rules
March 31, 2017Call for Submissions Poetry of Place Open to grades 1-5, 6-8, 9-12
May 5, 2017Poetry Reading Nebraska State Capitol
Lincoln Summer Institute Nebraska Writing Project Summer Institutes contact
Youth Writing Festivals 2017Nebraska Writing Projectcontact

June 12-30, 2017 and Academic Year 2017-18

Nebraska Writing Project Call for Applicationscontact

Early Childhood Calendar

Permission is granted for you to print either the English or Spanish version of these calendars. It is suggested that you print from the PDF version posted here. These documents were created in Adobe InDesign. Please click on this link for access to calendar files if you wish to print them. Thank you.

English Calendar:





Spanish Calendar:

Spanish Calendar image




National Council of Teachers of English: A leading partner in giving educators a voice as the educational landscape changes and the needs of teachers from preK through college evolve.

Nebraska State Reading Association: The mission of the NSRA is to lead in the promotion of literacy in the state of Nebraska through collaboration, advocacy, and professional development.

Nebraska Arts Council: Stop here for information about the arts in Nebraska and grants that are available.

Get Ready to Read: A website designed to support educators, parents, and young children in the development of early literacy skills in the years before kindergarten.

Read Aloud Nebraska: This organization promotes healthy, successful children and families through reading aloud.

Nebraska Story Arts:  They conduct events and outreach programs for schools, libraries and community agencies.

Nebraska Library Commission: A Nebraska site with many links to regional and statewide library resources.

Nebraska Humanities Council: This organization offers a variety of services from programs, grants, and speakers and ways to donate to support the council.

Nebraska Cultural Endowment: The mission of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment is to cultivate a legacy of stability, advocacy, and leadership for the arts and humanities in Nebraska.

Lincoln Children’s Museum: Lincoln Children’s Museum invites children to create, discover, and learn through the power of play.

Poetry Out Loud: This is a national poetry recitation competition and educational program that encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance.

Louder Than A Bomb: Great Plains:  Hundreds of students from 40+ Nebraska and Iowa high schools spend hundreds of hours to create performance poetry

Nebraska Writers Collective:  A non-profit organization that fosters personal empowerment and community-building in the Midwest through creative writing and performance poetry.

Institute for Holocaust Education: Provides quality Holocaust education programming across Nebraska and beyond. They offer resources and training for educators, as well as events for students and the general public.