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The Summer of Discovery 2024 represents a unique opportunity for summer learning programs across Nebraska as they are going beyond the status quo with priorities on youth voice, local partnerships, and sustaining high-quality expanded learning opportunities. Beyond School Bells continued last year’s focus on elevating youth voice with a statewide student brainstorming process to identify youth interests. This student voice has helped to create a set of criteria directly based on what we have heard Nebraska youth say they value: Experiential Learning, Sports and Movement, and STEM. All 2024 grants will be required to incorporate youth-voice for programming plans as well as collect youth voice within summer programs.

There are three summer grant categories available for the Summer of Youth 2023 grant: (1) Expereiential Learning and Local Partnerships, (2) Movement and Outdoor Learning, and (3) Think, Make, Create and STEM. Please review the Grant Overview document for more information.

Also, take time read BSB’s latest Nebraska Youth Interest Summary Report of what opportunities Nebraska youth are interested in for their afterschool and summer programs. Last fall, BSB asked Nebraska youth in ELO programs across the state to identify the types of learning opportunities and experiences they enjoy and would like to see more of in their ELO program. Rather than use a standard questionnaire, we created an interactive tool to elicit the interests of young people about their ideas of the types of opportunities they would like to experience more of in their afterschool and summer programs. We are excited by the findings and the opportunity they provide us to support programs that reflect youth interests--please take time to review this document to best incorporate student voice and interests when developing your grant/proposed summer activities.

Grant applications are due on March 29, 2024.