Lincoln Early Childhood Network



When you think of going to a fair, it’s likely that a summer state or county fair comes to mind. But families can attend the EARLY CHILDHOOD FAMILY FAIR in February. No worries about the winter weather; it’s being held inside Gateway Mall on February 17 from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Like those traditional fairs, there will be booths with information for parents, fun activities for children, multiple opportunities for families to play and learn together, and prizes to win. But unlike the typical fair, the EARLY CHILDHOOD FAMILY FAIR is free!

The Lincoln Early Childhood Network’s goal in sponsoring the EARLY CHILDHOOD FAMILY FAIR is to connect families with young children to the wide variety of resources and programs related to early childhood development and healthy parenting. An equally important goal is to provide a fun time for families to interact with each other, to play and learn together. Children from birth to age five will be delighted with activities, story times, games, music, dancing, and books.

Current studies have found that parents and caregivers of young children want to know more about parenting and child development, yet are uncertain where to find clear and trustworthy information. The amount of information available to parents  - from the Internet, social media, magazines, friends, and family - is overwhelming. Where can they go for quality information and answers to their many questions? The EARLY CHILDHOOD FAMILY FAIR will allow families with young children to…

  • EXPLORE opportunities for early childhood education, preschools, parenting classes, English classes, healthy activities, summer camps, and cultural centers.
  • PLAY in activity areas, read books and listen to storytellers, dance, sing, create and build things, and learn about activities that can be done at home.
  • LEARN about programs, agencies and resources related to health care, nutrition, early childhood literacy, shelter, basic needs, mental health, basic needs, crisis situations.
  • CONNECT with providers, services, organizations, medical facilities, educators, museums, libraries, and businesses that can answer questions, entertain, and provide information to families with young children.

The EARLY CHILDHOOD FAMILY FAIR booths and activity areas will be in Gateway Mall between the playground area and Scooter’s Coffee. In addition to information and fun activities, there will be raffles, prizes, and free books for children. The String Beans will play courtesy of the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

The Lincoln Early Childhood Network is sponsoring the EARLY CHILDHOOD FAMILY FAIR on behalf of Prosper Lincoln. Lincoln Community Foundation is sponsoring the event whose partners include WellCare/Heritage Health, Partnership for Healthy Lincoln, Educare, Children’s Center for the Child & Community, Lincoln City Libraries, Cedars Home for Children, Read Aloud Lincoln, Nebraska Children’s Home Society, and Community Health Endowment.

Being a parent means continual learning, and this event is the perfect place for that to happen. Mark your calendars today to attend the EARLY CHILDHOOD FAMILY FAIR at Gateway Mall

on Sunday February 17, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. It will provide multiple opportunities for families with young children to EXPLORE, PLAY, LEARN, and CONNECT together.

Quotes From Our Supporters

Prosper Lincoln is one of the most exciting community engagement and community-building efforts happening in the country.  It’s a real model!

Dan Cramer, Co-founder, Grassroots Solutions, St. Paul, MN

Prosper Lincoln will not only benefit all of your kids and your community; it is also a model for similar efforts around the country, thanks to the leadership of LCF.

Richard Ober, President & CEO, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Founder Community Foundation Opportunity Network; Concord, NH

Communities across the US are searching for innovative initiatives to improve economic opportunity and mobility.  We can all learn from the amazing work of Prosper Lincoln!

Brian Collier, Executive Vice President, Foundation for the Carolinas

Prosper Lincoln is breaking new ground in economic revitalization without displacement.

Ellen Shepard, CEO, Allies, Chicago, IL

To see an entire community come together to ensure all Lincoln residents are successful is very inspirational.  Congratulations!

Nancy Van Milligen, President/CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Dubuque, IA

In my regional and national work in community development this is one of the most unique and exciting strategies for true change I have seen!

Del Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha, NE

Bringing together a multi-sector group of committed Lincoln residents will support prosperity for all.  Congratulations on this excellent collaboration.

Holly C. Sampson, President, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Duluth, MN

Diverse voices from across Lincoln came together so that current and future generations can thrive. This is no small feat, and it’s inspiring to see that collective vision inch closer to fruition. You can consider yourselves a model for other communities starting to embark on this work.

Megan Powers, International Program Officer, The McKnight Foundation Minneapolis, MN

There is no better example of the power of convening than Prosper Lincoln! Bringing together members of the community from all walks of life to enrich the City is inspiring.

Regine Webster, Vice President Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is creating a national model for building vibrant, equitable and resilient communities.  Systems thinking + the right resources!

Sandy Wiggins, Chair, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is an important approach to solving community problems. By bringing together local businesses, nonprofits, neighborhoods, government and faith organizations, they are bridging divides, building connections, and sparking opportunities in way that shows true community engagement.

Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations

This is one of the most impressive community focus efforts I have seen. You are making considerable progress!

Cynthia Hardin Milligan, Trustee and former Chair of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI

Lincoln is one of a few cities across America where citizens and leaders from across different sectors have come together to tackle their community’s most complex challenges. Your ability to already show results and persevere is inspiring.

Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities, Washington, DC

Solving tough national problems like the opportunity gap begins locally, and Prosper Lincoln is leading the way.

Robert D. Putnam, Professor of Public Policy and author, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

There is nothing more powerful in securing a community’s long-term health than evolving a shared vision through community engagement. Congratulations!

Rip Rapson, President, The Kresge Foundation, Detroit, MI