Join Our Circle of Influence


~ The Circle of Influence exemplifies the vision of collective impact

and community engagement needed to reach our goals.

~ Explore the events, aspirational projects

and creations with which

you can become involved.

Circle of Influence Animation

Please view this short video animation of our Circle of Influence

Circle of Influence

The circles of support and influence which surround our children and families are essential for a collective impact initiative to be successful.  It is only through breaking down silos and working together across the community that meaningful change will occur.  Members of the MOEC and RMtR team have valued the support of FSG in collective impact coaching and training.


Collaborative work in taking an idea to design included Christine Qualman at Educational Service Unit #3, and in taking the design to animation from Maverick|PR.


These interlaced strands and overlapping circles of support provide the protective factors that help children and families succeed. By connecting families, schools, associations, allies and partners in our Circle of Influence, we are trying to create a world where children, no matter their resources, may live and learn in a literacy-rich environment within supportive communities.

At Metro-Omaha Raise Me to Read, we understand that the future of the children in our community does not rest merely on the shoulder of schools, nor does it rest only in family homes. Our initiative envisions engaging those in our Circle of Influence in collective work and supportive actions, which will help all children to be ready to learn when they come to school; and, to create a positive, successful trajectory for the rest of their lives.

Parents play the most powerful and influential role in their children’s lives. Moms, Dads, Grandparents and other caring adults who engage in nurturing interactions, calm & consistent conversation, and who visit new spaces and places with their children, set the stage for success in the early years and early grades. Parents are the “Secret Sauce”. Parents are the brain-builders and architects of their child’s future.

An unmistakable, dynamic connection exists between families and children, and their neighborhood schools. Schools that focus on high quality instruction and an engaging, relational culture, provide a welcoming, safe, and rigorous learning environment for children and families.

The associations by which families define themselves – their religious affiliations, social clubs, and local service groups – are important, in that they provide supportive connections that buffer parents from stressors. Parents who cultivate such relationships become resilient and are able to provide nurturing attentiveness to their children.

Organizations such as hospitals, mental health clinics, family services, afterschool programs, and businesses (along with well-being, civic, housing, and mentoring groups) reinforce family resilience by their interventions and instruction. This provides a layer of respectful and concrete support for families in times of need.

Philanthropic efforts by means of time, talent and treasure surround the organizations, associations, schools, and families with the resources necessary to create meaningful change. The generous nature of our metro area individuals, companies, and foundations complete our Circle of Influence and create a situation in which anything is possible.

Our School Districts

In the Metro-Omaha two-county area, there are eleven separate school districts.  Superintendents of these districts are part of the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy County.  These Superintendents also serve on the Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium (MOEC) Steering Committee, and Superintendents and Administrators actively participate in MOEC Task Force and Work Groups to consider solutions to high priority issues.  Metro-Omaha RMtR is involved in the Literacy and Attendance Work Groups.


Please use buttons to view The Superintendent’s Plan report and the Leadership and Task Force initiatives at MOEC.


For direct access to the school district websites, click on the school logo.

The Superintendents PlanMOEC Leadership


Allies are entities which are intentionally engaged in, or supportive of, work which aligns with RMtR goals.  These entities engage in conversation and collaborative efforts with RMtR, and have provided their logos and collaboration for links on our site, and/or have written letters of support for Metro-Omaha Raise Me to Read.  The vision is to have continuous growth, collaboration, and alignment of meaningful work between Metro-Omaha and these entities and initiatives. 

Joint RMtR Advisory Board

Our joint advisory board convenes twice a year and members come to the table from multiple Metro-Omaha and Council Bluffs entities.


We are so proud to be allied with Attendance Works in the Be Present Be POWERFUL! campaign.



Community Based Attendance Coalition & Metro-Omaha Raise Me to Read


Attendance is not merely a school issue to solve, it is a community issue that requires cross sector partnerships to create meaningful change.

Regular school attendance from preschool onward is positively connected to reading on grade level by third grade, to successful high school graduation, and to lifelong success.  To reach that end, we invite schools, businesses, non-profits, parents, students, police departments and politicians to embrace this encouraging Attendance Awareness campaign.

The focus of the Community Based Attendance Coalition is on building awareness and facilitating professional development opportunities for members to address the factors that are shown through research to contribute to chronic absenteeism: barriers, negative school experiences, lack of engagement, and misconceptions about attendance.  An intentional approach of the Coalition is to convene a cross-section of stakeholders invested in the work including school social workers, mental health professionals, school and community-based providers, and juvenile justice organizations.

Questions:  Contact Kathleen Knudsen 



Omaha Urban Thinkscapes


Beginning in early 2020, a small group of Omaha leaders began to meet and plan a project that will help create playful public spaces for children and residents. The leaders include Dr. Debora Wisneski of the University of Nebraska Omaha; Stephen Osberg, Director of Transportation Development at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce; and Kathleen Knudsen, Facilitator of Metro-Omaha Raise Me to Read.  The team established goals including: 1) Create a playful sense of place in Omaha public spaces that showcases the art and culture of Omaha neighborhoods; 2) Engage children and families with playful learning experiences while using public spaces; 3) Increase the mental, physical, language and cognitive development of Omaha children and residents.

Events, Projects and Connections

Explore Metro-Omaha virtual learning events, creative work, collaborative efforts, and future plans.  For further information regarding any of these initiatives, please contact

Metro-Omaha Raise Me to Read Book Club