Restoration Exchange Omaha, together with Partnership 4 Kids, is working to give 80 ninth-grade students attending Central, North, Northwest and South high schools an opportunity to create a tour brochure highlighting the history, culture and architecture of the 24th and Lake Street area.

Students toured North 24th Street the week of April 6 with Restoration Exchange Omaha tour guides. REO Education Chairman Vince Furlong, who developed the tour, conducted some of the tours. Partnership 4 Kids staffers and volunteers tagged along to experience the history lesson. Executive Director Kristine Gerber will visit classrooms later in April to teach the students how to research the history of a building or person using local resources.


REO volunteer Linda Williams leads a group of Northwest High students on a tour of North 24th Street.

Students will then have an opportunity to research a building or do personal interviews to uncover the history of the area. Students also can choose to take pictures of the area under the guidance of architectural photographer Tom Kessler.

Partnership 4 Kids is a goal-setting and group-mentoring program that builds hope for underserved students and helps them create a foundation for success from kindergarten to careers. Formed in 2007 with the merger of mentoring programs started by Jerry Hoberman and Mike and Gail Yanney, the group strengthens the community through its network of partnerships with Omaha schools, local businesses and individuals. Currently there are more than 5,000 students in 21 Omaha Public Schools participating in Partnership programs.

REO created a brochure for its South 24th Street Tour last summer. “Councilman Ben Gray suggested we work with P4K on this project. We are so glad he did. We have loved getting to know more about this organization and working together with their staff and mentors to provide a great learning opportunity for the students,” said Gerber. “Our hope is the students not only become invested in the history of the area but also in its future by helping to promote the 24th and Lake area to others through an informative tour map.”

The North Omaha Historical Grant provided funding for the program. Also included in the grant is funding for up to 500 students to tour the area for free through October 2015. If you have a group interested in touring, contact tour coordinator Vince Furlong at 402-709-2586 or

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