SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After school programs are back in session right along with a new school year. But not all students have access to the service, and child care can be difficult to find.

The Sioux Falls School District is working to change that by partnering with community organizations to pilot a new after school program.

After school programs can be expensive, so not all families enroll their kids.

But that’s no longer the case at Laura B. Anderson Elementary School, where a 1.2 million dollar grant is helping close the gap.

“We received a 21st Century Grant, which is distributed through the Department of Education, and that is going to support four of our title schools here in Sioux Falls, specifically provides after school programming for kids at little to no cost,” said Rebecca Wimmer, Coordinator for Community Partnerships with the Sioux Falls School District.

The Sioux Falls School District is collaborating with local non-profits for a pilot program at four schools.

“So in this first-year pilot together, our great staff is combining with their great staff to operate alongside each other,” Hanson said.

“If we are able to partner with our non-profits agencies who are already serving kids in separate buildings, nothing has to be created in terms of combining our programs into one and becoming as efficient as possible,” Wimmer said.

In addition to making after school programs more affordable, they want to help every student succeed in class.

“We really have a strong emphasis on providing enriching programming with the goal of helping kids make real academic improvement in their math and reading scores,” said Sarah Hanson, Managing Director of Children Youth and Family Services at Volunteers of America South Dakota.

The goal is to one day expand this program across the district.

For additional information on the pilot program, including locations, click here.