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Community Stories

Both Kim Chase and Amy Standley agree on a very specific detail about Nebraska Growing Readers (NGR) books: they fit well in small hands. While this may seem minor, it means that the children these early childhood professionals work with are holding the books, looking at the colorful pictures, identifying what they see; such moments are the early literacy moments NGR strives for.

The Nebraska Growing Readers (NGR) program, which is a collaboration between Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, the Nebraska Department of Education, the Statewide Family Engagement Center, and Unite for Literacy, has aimed primarily at providing free books for licensed childcare providers who can share them with their families, but the books have also been distributed to other organizations where children and families can access them. Al-Hindi said he learned of the program in December of 2023 when Nghia Le, the Director of the Learning Center, showed him the books, which they thought could be useful for the adults in ESL classes to use.

A recent car seat check held by Sixpence of Fremont, in coordination with Dodge County Head Start and Three Rivers Health Department, revealed that when it comes to car seats, things aren’t as simple as they seem.

In some ways this story begins as a trip to school. Perla Jaimes describes walking with her mother and younger sister. She remembers it was dark; she remembers it was cold. And on the other end of this walk a new school waited.