Students & Registration:
What is Bright Lights?
Bright Lights, Inc. is a nonprofit organization unique to Lincoln, NE that has offered summer learning adventures to elementary and middle school students for over 25 years. Based on the motto, "Hands on, Minds on!", the program is for students interested in summer learning adventures.
Where is the program held?
Bright Lights rents a Lincoln Public Schools building for the main program site where about 75% of the classes are held. The remaining classes are held at community classroom sites. Summer 2013 main program site will be at Randolph Elementary School, 1024 S. 37th St.
Who does Bright Lights serve?
Classes are offered for students in post-K through post-9th grade. This means the grade the student is in on April 1st of the year the Bright Lights class is taken.
When is it held?
Bright Lights holds six sessions during three weeks in June and July. For 2013, weekly sessions will be held June 3-7, June 17-21, and July 8-12.
What is the program format?
Classes are week-long, half-days, from either 9 am - noon OR 1 - 4 pm. Day camps, with a career emphasis, are offered from 9 am - 4 pm. Other camps may be available to younger students.
When and how do I get a copy of the class schedule?
The class schedule is available annually by mid-March on this website under Class Schedule. A printed brochure is available in the April edition of Lincoln Public Schools "Free Times" or by calling the Bright Lights office at 402-420-1115 x43.
How many students are in a Bright Lights class?
Primary classes average 17 students, while intermediate and middle-school classes average 20. With one teacher and two assistants, each class has a staff to student ratio of approximately 1:7.
Is Bright Lights a program for identified gifted students only?
No. Bright Lights emphasizes talent and focused interests. We believe it is important to teach children with their same-aged peers, regardless of ability.
Can I register a child not from Nebraska?
Yes. Bright Lights has no residency requirements.
What is the tuition cost?
Half-day classes: Option A: $115 Option B: $145 Option C: $175
Camps: Option A: $230 Option B: $290 Option C: $350
Why Option Pricing?
At Bright Lights, we have come up with a more creative way to meet the financial demands it takes to operate our summer program. For a half-day class, our actual cost is $188, and an all-day camp is $376. We are able to offer these reduced rates (Option A-C) as a result of the generous financial support of our donors in the community and other Bright Lights friends and families.
What are the prices?
Option A is a reduced rate from our actual costs, and does not reflect the true cost of operating. Option B is a partially reduced rate for families that can afford a little more. Option C more accurately accounts for actual costs, including teacher and assistant background checks, health and safety, classroom supplies, insurance and much more.
How do I select my price?
Tuition Option Pricing in no way influences the experience your child will receive while attending Bright Lights. You should look at the rate descriptions and determine the rate that is appropriate for your family. This program is completely voluntary. No preferential treatment for enrollment will be given for selecting Option B or Option C.
Will taking Option B or Option C qualify as a tax deduction?
No. The donation opportunity is available as you complete your registration.
What if I need further financial assistance?
If your need is greater, please do not hesitate to apply for a scholarship which may provide more significant tuition assistance.
What financial aid is available?
Scholarships are offered based on financial need and are available on a first come, first served basis. Each applicant is eligible for one partial scholarship for either a class or a day camp. Applications will be accepted through online or mail-in registration. More information can be found on the "Scholarships" information page.
What are class fees?
Class fees cover special or additional items needed for that particular class, for example, lab or materials fee.
How can I register?
We accept both online and mail-in registrations. Register at www.brightlights.org and follow the prompts. Registrations are accepted by mail on a first-come, first-served basis and processed by postmark.
When does registration begin?
Registration begins annually April 1 at noon.
How do I pay for classes?
Payment must accompany your registration. Visa and MC are accepted ONLINE ONLY.
How will I know if my child is registered?
Online registrants will receive an immediate registration confirmation after submitting payment online. Students registering by mail will be notified immediately only if placed into an alternate class(es). All students registering online will receive a final class/camp confirmation by email. Those registering by mail will receive their final confirmation by mail or email, as requested when registering, towards the end of May.
What if I register for a class by mail, and it becomes full before my registration is processed?
You will be placed into your alternate selection, and a postcard will be sent noting your alternate class. If no alternate class(es) was given, you will receive a phone call from the Bright Lights office.
How many classes/camps may I register my child to take?
Bright Lights recognizes that children’s summers should be varied. To enroll in six classes generally would be too much for most children. Six classes would only be recommended if parents had enrolled previous summers and knew their child wanted to come that often. Lunch care is provided for families who want all day care at a nominal fee.
Students must be well behaved in classes. For classes at community sites, this is particularly important. There is no administrator on site for a short “time out” if a child needs time to refocus. Our hosts at universities and other community sites are counting on students coming who want to learn, and will only continue to host our classes if behavior concerns are kept at a minimum.
Dismissal from classes:
Students who are dismissed from a class during the summer will lose the privilege of attending the rest of the summer, and their tuition can be considered a donation unless the family finds a replacement student. Registration the following summer will be contingent on several issues, including whether the child's behavior has improved over the year.
What is Bright Lights refund policy?
A processing fee of $30 for each class/camp will be charged if a student withdraws on or before May 17. After May 17, no refunds will be issued.
Is all-day care available?
Yes, Before Care and Lunch Care are available. This allows care from 7:30 am to 4 pm.
Before Care, from 7:30-9 am, is offered at the main program site only. Register for Before Care when you sign up for class(es), either online or by mail. The cost is $15 for the week.
Lunch hour supervision is available for $10 a week. Students bring their own sack lunch. Students can create their own "designer day camp" by signing up for a morning and afternoon class at the main site and supervised lunch hour care.
Is transportation available to Bright Lights classes?
Yes. Limited free buses are available to/from the main program site from select Lincoln Public Elementary Schools. Any student may register to ride the free bus. Check the bus transportation schedule to make sure transportation is available for the week you are enrolling. A permission slip must be signed and mailed to Bright Lights.
What kind of medical support is available at Bright Lights?
See our medical policy found in our policies section. A school nurse (LPN) is on staff at the main site when classes are in session.
Teachers, Classroom Assistants, and Volunteers:
Who are Bright Lights teachers?
About 50% of Bright Lights teachers have a Lincoln Public Schools background. The remaining come from other school districts, universities, or the community. Each has a proven record working with children and a focused curriculum that fits the program. Contact Pam Magdanz by clicking “Contact Us” above if interested in teaching a summer class. Classes for primary students are often needed, and those teachers are in high demand. Teachers are paid and background checks are utilized.
What if I want to assist in a class?
Classroom assistants are volunteers. Applications are taken online annually from mid-February through mid-March. Assistants are students who will have completed 9th grade during the current school year through college-aged students and adults. Classroom assistants can be summer office volunteers at school as well. See classroom assistant application. Background checks are completed on volunteers 19 years and older. Assistants may work in more than one class.
Can I be an office volunteer during the school year?
Volunteers are needed in our office during the school year to help with photocopying, data input, preparing mailings, special projects, and general office duties. Complete the volunteer application.
How do I donate to Bright Lights?
Bright Lights, Inc. is a non-profit with 501(c)(3) status. Our federal ID number is #47-0708499. Bright Lights is not currently supported by tax dollars or the United Way.
Program costs include teacher and assistant background checks, health and safety, busing, need-based scholarships, classroom rental, and insurance. With your generous tax deductible donation, you will help close the gap between the actual cost versus the tuition charge, making tuition more affordable to more families. (For 2012, the actual cost was $193 and the tuition charge was $110). Donations are accepted online or by mail. You can make a difference with your gift!
Can I direct a donation to a specific program area?
Yes, designated donations are welcomed. Donations may be directed to a specific area of program costs, such as need-based scholarships or health and safety initiatives, or may be directed to support the annual fund.
Donations may also be made in memory or in celebration of someone. Certificates will be mailed recognizing this honor.
The Galaxy Club is for those who would like to make a gift or a planned gift to Bright Lights. This includes gifts of appreciated assets, life insurance beneficiary designation, or in wills and living trusts.
For more information on donating to Bright Lights, please contact Beth at 402-420-1115, ext. 45, or send us an e-mail by clicking "Contact Us" above.
To make a donation, see our Donor page.