Summer Learning Adventures for Elementary and Middle School Students
Bright Lights provides students the opportunity to focus on their talents, strengths and interests in summer classes that makes the most of their Out-of-School Time (OST). With engaging curriculum and class topics, students are challenged in these Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) to connect with other students who share a common excitement for the topic. The schedule offers a broad range of grade levels and curriculum so there is something of interest for all the children in a family.
Students who participate in high-quality expanded learning opportunities (ELO), such as Bright Lights, have been shown to demonstrate:
- Better work habits
- Stronger task persistence and self-efficacy
- Improved pro-social behavior with peers
- Greater gains in academic and behavior outcomes
- Narrowed gap in math achievement
(Lowe Vandell, Deborah. The Achievement Gap is Real. (2013) Statewide Afterschool Networks.
Bright Lights teachers are chosen for their passion in their field of expertise and ability to engage students in that subject. From certified teachers to university professors, medical experts and community artists, Bright Lights teachers bring an impressive array of talent. Each year, approximately 85-90 percent of the teachers return to teach another season of classes and some of the teachers have over a fifteen year history with the program.
"Bright Lights truly is an amazing experience for children to participate in. They are challenged in a new way and can realize that learning is fun. It's not all about testing or getting things done at a certain time, its about exploring themselves through the learning. Bright Lights is a positive place for students to come in the summer and be encouraged to think outside of the box and have a great time doing it." - Bright Lights teacher
The Bright Lights program is based on these Governing Values:
We believe learning should be...
- Inspiring curiosity
- Life changing
- Life long
- In a safe environment
- Supported by the community
We believe diversity teaches. Passionate teachers and kids bring talents and gifts that motivate each other to learn!
Bright Lights works to provide a friendly and engaging learning environment. With unique classes and curriculum, students can pursue fields of interest with others who share that same curiosity and enthusiasm. The range of ages per class is generally limited to two or three grade levels. With a low teacher-student ratio of 1:7, students can expect plenty of attention.
The classes consist of a wide variety of topics and incorporate STEAM-based activities or curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) in almost all of them, including the literature, social studies and outdoor education classes. As the opportunities for STEAM careers continue to increase, students benefit from an early exposure and experience in these areas.
The block time structure (three-hour, half-day classes or six-hour, full-day camps) provides students with time for exploration and in-depth study. Field trips, experimentation, problem solving, creative thinking, collaboration and exploration - there is time for all of this and so much more.
Bright Lights rents space in a Lincoln Public School facility where the majority of the classes are held. Classes are also held in many community sites, such as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), Pioneers Park or Holmes Lake. Class locations, speakers and guests reflect the community's participation in the program. With this outreach, Bright Lights works to familiarize students with the resources - both people and places - of the community in which they live.