Raymond Central Public Schools

Dr. Derrick Joel

CERESCO – Raymond Central Public Schools has announced its partnership with Civic Nebraska to serve the district’s families and elementary students with a new program.

The Raymond Central Before and After School Program will be launched in August at the Ceresco and Valparaiso elementary attendance centers. This will be the first year for before and after school programs at Raymond Central and will be Civic Nebraska’s eighth school-based youth civic leadership in Nebraska.

Raymond Central Schools Superintendent Dr. Derrick Joel said he’s excited to partner with the RC Foundation and Civic Nebraska to offer a high quality before and after school program for our students in kindergarten to fifth grades.

“Without the partnerships the school district would have a difficult time in creating the program, staffing the program, and sustaining the program over time,” Joel said. “This program will expand learning opportunities for students that delivers new experiences, academic support and civic leadership to students in a safe and fun environment.”

Joel believes the program will not only serve the needs of students, but also the needs of families as a majority of the district’s parents and guardians commute to work each day.

Joel said the conversation about the program started two years ago when the RC Foundation sent out a survey asking for feedback on how many families would utilize before and after school care.

“The initial thought was for the foundation to start and run the program, but we found out quickly the process is complicated and time consuming,” he said. “We spent the next year visiting other schools with programs in an attempt to continue finding resources and support to start a program.”

Joel said it wasn’t until this year that they found Civic Nebraska and they agreed to create their first rural model and work with Raymond Central.

“Raymond Central cannot thank the foundation and Civic Nebraska enough for their time and effort in making this program a reality for the students,” he added.

Civic Nebraska’s before and after school programs in the metro cities continually perform above state averages in terms of parent and student satisfaction, according to information provided by Civic Nebraska.

Civic Nebraska also coordinates several outside of school clubs and initiatives around the state.

According to Joel, the program will offer supervised before and after school activities, after school clubs, high quality academic and learning experiences and enrichment opportunities. It will also provide a range of integrated support services for children, families and the greater Raymond Central community.

Joel also said the benefits for the children, families and community are endless.

“The benefits of the program include a healthy snack before and after school, homework help, alignment to grade level skills and standards, dedicated staff who will work with students, a balance of physical activity and focus on academics,” he said. “Parents will be able to drop their students off before school and pick them up after school knowing that their child has engaged in meaningful and healthy activities and at the end of the day, we want them to feel a sense of belonging while also being respected as an individual. Most of all, they’ll have fun.”

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