$1.1 million grant to enhance youth programming

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Summer and after school programming for middle schoolers will be getting a boost thanks to a $1.1 million grant.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire recently found out it was awarded the grant.

The CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire calls the news exciting.

The non-profit hasn’t received a 21st Century grant in a couple of years.

The 21st Century Grant is federal money from the U.S. Department of Education, which funnels through the state, to various organizations.

“And it really is looking at that out of school time and finding ways to continue to enhance learning in those after school hours. What we know about kids is those hours between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. are the most treacherous for those kids. They tend to get into the most trouble, have the most difficulty,” Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire CEO Rebecca Wimmer said.

While the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire wrote the grant, and will administer it, it’s a collaborative effort among several community partners, including the YMCA.

“This is an amazing opportunity for the YMCA. We’re going to be able to make some great enhancements to a lot of our after school programs. And I think, more importantly, this allows us to form and continue with some great collaborative efforts with some of the other non-profits in Sioux Falls,” Sioux Falls YMCA CEO Mike Murphy said.

The money will also help kids when school is out for the summer.

“What we also know about kids is that summer learning loss, especially kids that come from more disadvantaged backgrounds is exponentially greater than it is for other children and so if we can keep them active and learning during the summertime we can help them stay up to grade level with their peers,” Wimmer said.

The money will be used over the course of five years.

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