Nebraska, utilizing federal COVID-19 relief funding, has established a program to help businesses, including ranching, impacted by COVID-19. The Department of Economic Development expects to award grants of $12,000 to eligible businesses, for a total of approximately $330,000,000. The original window of application is relatively short with sign up going from June 15th, 2020 through June 26th, 2020. As this is a developing opportunity changes will and often occur. One such change is that applications of livestock producers has temporarilySpanish:
One of the most effective ways to improve children’s reading achievement is by reading often and early to them. When summer rolls around we may be tempted to ease up on academic expectations and the amount of quality time we spend reading with children or children spend reading on their own. It is natural to get distracted by the nice weather, summer to-do lists, and the freedom from structured schedules.
There are many benefits to keeping the reading momentum going throughout the summer including improved fluency, increased vocabulary, expanded background knowledge, and greater confidence are just a few.
How can you enjoy the beauty of summertime and still foster a love of reading? Here are a few quick tips.
- Make reading a part of your daily routine. If nighttime read alouds do not fit into your summer schedule because you are staying outside later and time slips away from you, consider changing the time of day that you and your child read. Stories outside with the birds chirping and the cool morning air will start your day off with a close connection and rich, warm discussions. A shared reading experience after mealtimes is effective as well. Classroom teachers tend to do classroom read alouds after lunch; maybe that is tradition that would work well for your setting. No matter what you decide is the perfect reading routine, remember to be intentional but flexible.
- Encourage children to select books they are genuinely interested in and excited about. Although reading books at grade level is desirable, reading choice should be the primary focus. Books should engage children through text, pictures, and the story line. Book selection is crucial to developing an intrinsic joy and it also promotes independence. It is much easier for children to get in the “reading zone” when they are hearing or reading books by authors and in genres that are engaging to them.
- Connect reading to family outings. If you are heading out on a bike ride, pack a couple books and decide on a special place to take a break and relax with a good story. If you are visiting an aquarium, consider reading books about fish or hatcheries to prepare for the trip or to extend learning after the visit. Listening to a family audiobook as you are traveling from destination to destination sparks conversations about a shared reading experience and will leave children anticipating the next time they get to travel and hear the rest of the story. Sharing stories as a family can leave a lasting impression.
Remember that reading books for meaning and pleasure should be emphasized above all this summer. There is a contagious energy about books that are read for enjoyment. Strong connections and relationships are developed. Above all, summertime reading creates wonder, curiosity, and the eagerness to want to discover more.
For more information and ideas for reading at home, visit https://www.readingrockets.org/audience/parents
Visit https://www.startwithabook.org/summer-reading-learning to get additional suggestions for summer reading activities.
To download fairy tale storybook guides to support literacy development, visit https://child.unl.edu/nebraska-4-h-stem-reading-connections-program
JACKIE STEFFEN EXTENSION EDUCATOR | THE LEARNING CHILD
Peer Reviewed by Amy Napoli, University of Nebraska Extension Specialist and Linda Reddish, Extension Educator, The Learning Child
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Field Days, Wheat Variety Tours in Western Nebraska Will Be Available as Self-guided or Online Events
The safety of youth and their families is our highest priority. We were hopeful and preparing to offer an in-person Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Expo. With continued uncertainty about COVID-19 in Grand Island and whether or not we would get approval from the Health Department coupled with concerns from volunteers and staff and the ability to offer a high-quality experience for youth, we have decided to cancel the in-person show for 2020. Instead, a modified virtual show will be hosted allowing youth to compete from home. This will allow all 4-H'ers the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and effort they have put into their horse project. This virtual opportunity will also include 4-H Horse Stampede contests. More information can be found on the Fonner Park State 4-H Fun Horse Show.
We understand the disappointment this decision will cause, but we hope this will be a new way to introduce youth to a trend that is increasing in popularity across the country. We appreciate the work of the Horse Advisory Committee, representatives from Fonner Park, and the City of Grand Island for all their support in this difficult decision.Fonner Park State 4-H Fun Horse Show