OMAHA, Neb. ─ The Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska has been honored as the 2020 Friend of Education by the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE).
This national award is given annually to an individual or organization whose contributions to PreK − Grade 12 education are significant and enduring.
“The work of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, under the leadership Samuel J. Meisels, has brought important focus to early education in Nebraska and nationally,” said NASBE President and CEO Robert Hull.
“Few efforts have been as influential as (the Institute’s) work to close the opportunity gap,” said Maureen Nickels, chair of the Nebraska State Board of Education, which nominated the Buffett Institute for the award.
“We are grateful to NASBE for honoring the Buffett Institute as the 2020 Friend of Education award winner,” said Meisels, the Institute’s founding executive director. “We work each day to fulfill our vision to make Nebraska the best place in the nation to be a baby and are proud to collaborate with our many partners, including the Nebraska State Board of Education, to bring this vision to life for all of Nebraska’s children.”
Under Meisels’s leadership, the Buffett Institute focuses its work on two signature programs, Closing the Opportunity Gap and Early Childhood Workforce Development. Meisels has directed the Institute’s work in research, program, policy, and outreach since its founding in 2013. As part of the University of Nebraska, the Institute promotes the development and learning of children from birth through age 8. The vision of the Institute is to make Nebraska the best place in the nation to be a baby.
This year’s Friend of Education Award was presented at NASBE’s virtual annual conference on Oct. 21.