Give To Lincoln Day is a chance for you to make a direct contribution to your community. This year, we are asking you to prioritize our future — children’s education.
As we begin to return to normalcy, we want to make the most of any time we have and learn how to use our resources to the fullest. That’s why we are turning straight to the experts. In this series, we will talk to educational professionals in Lincoln to learn how to serve our students to the fullest.
Our students have faced so many challenges this past year. Less opportunities that aid important social development, learning online and the stress of dealing with a pandemic in their formative years. In this blog, we talked to Vicki Schulenberg, the Supervisor of Elementary Personnel Services and former LPS teacher and principal to get her perspective.
Q: Why is education important to you?
“I think having a strong, positive education is the foundation of everything,” said Vicki. “I’ve just always been a teacher. I loved school, I loved learning, and I loved the people that were in my life because of school. So I think I chose to be a teacher because I wanted to be part of that for other students and for kids.”
Q: As we rebuild from the lasting effects of the pandemic, what do students need the most right now?
“What students needed this past year was stability,” Vicki stated. “They needed normal, they needed support. I'm glad that lots of kids were able to be in person in school, because I think it gave them that sense that life goes on, even in a pandemic, and that learning goes on, even in a pandemic.”
“What they're going to need most going into this next school year is just any way we can accelerate learning, because there was some loss. We need to make sure that we keep education focused on academic learning, certainly, but also on those personal relationships, because I think they're gonna need connections.”
Q: Is investing in education an urgent issue right now? Why?
“I think it's absolutely an urgent issue. If you invest in education, the impact spreads to so many students — whether that investment goes into projects for staff, into direct scholarships for kids, or just generally to where the need is. There are certain things that we may not be able to fund as we typically would because of this last year. And that might be something that the Foundation for LPS can help us fund for kids.”
Q: What have you seen among teachers or students as a result of the pandemic?
“We surveyed a lot of our new teachers partway through the year, and they were so thankful for all the support they were receiving from colleagues. They were overwhelmed by the support that people gave them, but they were also exhausted,” said Vicki. “This was absolutely most educators' hardest year in teaching.”
“I did talk to a teacher just this week. I just wanted to thank her. I said, ‘Thank you, I know this was probably the hardest year.’ And then she said, ‘You know, it probably was the hardest year, but I want you to know, it was also the best year. I felt my kids needed me there every day.’”
At the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools, we focus our energy on making sure every student has the opportunities and resources to succeed and thrive. The constant support from our community has allowed us to do so much for our students, but we can always do more.
“My joy comes from thinking about the sheer numbers of kids who could be impacted,” Vicki said. “Students take a little more hope into their next day when they know their family has support with basic needs. I invite you to join me in donating to the Foundation for the Lincoln Public Schools during Give to Lincoln Day!”
This Give to Lincoln Day we are asking community members to step up and help fill the gaps created by COVID. Education is a community-wide issue, can we count on you?