It’s now easier than ever for Nebraska Wesleyan University students, faculty and staff to make a difference within the Lincoln Public Schools. NWU now enjoys a formal partnership with northeast Lincoln’s Dawes Middle School. Dawes serves one of the district’s highest proportions of low-income children.
A start-up grant from the Woods Charitable Fund helped NWU create the position of K-12 outreach coordinator. Mary Lynn Schaffer serves in this capacity, facilitating class visits by NWU students, providing enrichment sessions in after-school programs and bringing Dawes students onto campus for sporting events and theatre performances.
The partnership provides NWU students with valuable service and experiential learning opportunities. It also gives sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Dawes Middle School meaningful exposures to a college campus and college role models.
Lincoln Public Schools is using resources from its 21st Century Community Learning Center grant funds to support a portion of the coordinator position. Additional grants to NWU for the program have come from RBC Foundation USA and from the WRK Family Foundation.