Jeff Cole and the Beyond School Bells network of ELO programs was recently selected as the first recipient of the Ron Raikes Innovation for Opportunity Award. The award was given at a statewide ARKSARBEN recognition event at the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney on Sunday, August 16. This award was created in honor of the late State Senator Ron Raikes who served in the Nebraska Unicameral from 1998-2008 and as chairman of the Education Committee for a number of years. Senator Raikes was known for legislation that featured innovative use of Nebraska resources for creating educational opportunities at all levels, pre-k through college age. The Raikes Family created the award in Senator Raikes’ honor to recognize individuals or organizations making a difference in closing the opportunity gap between disadvantaged and more advantaged children or youth in Nebraska.