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NAECR, Nebraska Extension co-host early childhood research networking event

From left, Jaci Foged, Learning Child Extension educator, and Holly Hatton-Bowers, assistant professor of child, youth and family studies, share information on their collaborative project.
From left, Jaci Foged, Learning Child Extension educator, and Holly Hatton-Bowers, assistant professor of child, youth and family studies, share information on their collaborative project. View photo gallery

Focused on building and expanding early childhood research across the University of Nebraska system and beyond, the Nebraska Academy for Early Childhood Research recently co-hosted a networking event with Nebraska Extension to share examples of their collaborative efforts.

About 40 people attended the inaugural NAECR Networking event Oct. 1 at the Nebraska Union — in person and via video conferencing — to learn more about NAECR and Nebraska Extension, and how both organizations can work together in support of interdisciplinary research and collaboration that positively impacts the lives of young children and their families.

Lisa Knoche, NAECR director, noted that bridging the work between early childhood researchers and Extension services is crucial.

“As we continue to expand early childhood research, building strong relationships is at the heart of what we do,” she said.

Kathleen Lodl, associate dean and state 4-H program leader, said Extension’s work involves sharing knowledge and teaching tools generated on campus with the people of the state.

“There is no better way to make sure we’re accomplishing that than in conversations such as this,” she said.

The event included seven short presentations on recent projects to illustrate how early childhood research can be used in Extension materials and educational programming. Presentations also showcased how collaborations with Extension occur throughout the research’s trajectory, from a project’s conceptualization through its data analysis and interpretation.

Kate Gallagher, director of research and evaluation at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute
Kate Gallagher, director of research and evaluation at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute

Presentations were followed by discussion, questions and answers.

“Thinking about all the ways collaboration can happen, and how important partnerships can be, it’s clear partnerships between early childhood researchers and Extension personnel are mutually beneficial,” Knoche said.

NAECR Networking and NAECR Knowledge are an ongoing series of networking and training events designed to enhance early childhood research across the NU system.

The first NAECR Knowledge event will be Nov. 14, when Box features and data security will be highlighted. Representatives from UNL Information Technology Services, Security Services and UNL Institutional Review Board will outline some of Box’s most useful features and discuss how to share secure data using the collaborative file storage tool.

The event will be from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Nebraska Union’s Colonial B Room.

For more information on NAECR activities, contact Sommer Fousek, project coordinator, at 402-472-3743 or sfousek2@unl.edu.

If you would like to connect with Nebraska Extension, please contact Kathleen Lodl at klodl1@unl.edu.

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