Dinner & Pretty Fire Production Brings Childcare Providers Together
Dozens of childcare providers and community leaders working to support childcare in the Central Nebraska area gathered the evening of February 26, 2022. A Provider Dinner was hosted by the Loup Valley Childhood Initiative (LVCI), 4 County Kids and Sandhills 1st Steps at Jubilee Events & Catering in Ord as a gesture of appreciation for licensed childcare providers that care for our littlest community members.
The room was filled with smiles and laughter as providers from the Valley, Custer and Garfield County areas enjoyed a meal and shared special moments they’ve experienced with the children they’ve cared for over the years along with tips and tricks they’ve discovered when it comes to feeding picky eaters and managing the various personalities and emotions of little ones.
The 27 childcare providers that attended the dinner shared a combined total of 438 years in early childhood care, an industry that enables working parents to work and therefore, local economies to thrive. In addition to that, the education and compassion they share with their children helps to raise the next generation of workforce and productive members of society.
Following dinner, the group was joined by members of the public at The Golden Husk in Downtown Ord for a live production of Pretty Fire, a one-woman play starring the talented Marika Gray, a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Loup Valley Childhood Initiative partnered with the Crane River Theater Company of Kearney to bring the thought-provoking production to Ord as an opportunity for the general public to enjoy a night of live entertainment and to also serve as continuing education hours for childcare providers, a requirement for state licensure.
The production captivated the audience with the story of Charlayne Woodard, a young African-American girl, as the character retold and reflected on her experiences growing up - memories of joy, love, fear, trauma and courage. The production elicited great conversation afterwards about honoring others’ lived experiences and ways childcare providers can care for and support children in their care who may have similar experiences and emotions as Charlayne.
The dinner and live production was a popular experience among childcare providers as it gave them an opportunity to connect with others in their industry and take part in education and discussion that supports them in their profession. LVCI looks forward to offering additional experiences such as this to support quality childcare, foster community partnerships and help local childcare providers thrive as businesses.