one of only nine states
that does not offer pre-school funding. That means parents are left to find a place to send their kids, and then come up with the money to pay for it. Some pre-schools can cost thousands of dollars a year. A new program
is giving more kids a chance to compete in the classroom.
For Prometheus Shrestha, going to pre-school is an exciting experience.
"I play and I eat and I play with a friend and I get out a map," Prometheus said.
His parents are also noticing the difference in his academic attitude since starting pre-school at Abiding Savior Free Lutheran just a few months back.
"Practicing how to write, you know, ABCD and numbers. When my wife and I have him do something, it seems like he's a little more focused than before," dad Vivek Shrestha said.
Vivek says his family falls in the grey area; they make too much money for school district pre-school
assistance, but not enough to pay for their son's education. That's why the Hope Coalition
has been a perfect fit.
Local non-profit groups and churches come together to get children in need into pre-schools, and provide free meals each day.
Sioux Falls School Superintendent Brian Maher says this Coalition will be a huge game-changer.
"Having students enter Kindergarten who are ready to learn is a crucial element to the success of those students throughout their school career," Maher said.
"Every child. Every child regardless of circumstances ought to get the opportunity to attend a quality pre-school," Randall Beck with the Hope Coalition said.
Now, they're getting one step closer with each child they serve.
There are close to 40 kids going to pre-school for free through the Hope Coalition right now. Next school year, they hope to have 100 children.
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