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Learning Community Center of North Omaha connects families with books through new state-wide initiative

The Learning Community Center of North Omaha is one recipient of the Nebraska Growing Readers Initiative, serving 130 families.
Posted at 7:07 PM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-23 00:02:01-05

  • The Nebraska Department of Education pledged $2 million to the initiative last fall, enabling the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties and its learning centers to participate.
  • The state-wide initiative, allows for all licensed child care providers to apply.
  • Valvina Nicholas and Than Myint discuss how the program has helped them improve their reading literacy as grandparents and parents.


Parent University, a program at the Learning Community Center of North Omaha is connecting families with books. The Learning Community Center is planning to give out 100 books per year to each family.

I spoke with Valvina Nicholas in her native language with the help of a translator about what she's learned through reading books with her grandson.

"What I like the most about this program is I get to learn so many things. Skills, how to get to interact with my grand kids and just many skills that I enjoy so much,"

Nicholas says, she hopes with the help of the program, 4-year-old Favian Hernandez, will grow passionate for all types of books.

"What I see his future will be that, by introducing books that he may acquire a taste for all types of books. As you can see, he loves books about trucks, but my hope and dreams is that he will be able to select a big variety of books, so he will have a collective understanding as he grows older,"

Parent University is one of the recipients of the Nebraska Growing Readers Initiative. The statewide program is sending books to families, early childhood education providers and child care centers.

Nghia Le, the Parent University Program Director says, "It's not just the schools responsibility, it’s everyone’s responsibility. The school, the community and the parents,"

Than Myint and her 1-year-old daugher, also spoke with me with the help of a translator. Myint says, she's watched her baby take interest in looking at books but the program has also helped her with her day to day tasks.

"This program has helped her in many ways. Now she is able to help her kids a little more and help her learn more words and also when she goes out into the public, she's able to help herself and be more independent,"

Myint added, they have a small number of books at home but with more books from the program she can read more often to her baby girl.

The Learning Community Center has 130 families. They will begin receiving 50 copies, of 10-13 different books a month.