SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Falls School District is set to to launch a new Community Learning Center (CLC) model for its after school programs. It will be at all of its elementary schools with hopes of expansion in the future.
The CLC model is a framework using local schools as gathering places for the after school programming rather than nonprofit organizations themselves. It eliminates the need to transport kids to other locations.
“As we were looking at a significant number of children in the community that don’t have access to after school programs, either because they can’t afford it or the programs are full, we looked at that efficiency and really thought about what could we could do differently to be able to free up additional resources,” said Rebecca Wimmer, SFSD coordinator of after school programs & community partnerships.
The school district and local nonprofits formed an advisory board to work together and decide what the programming will look like.
“We have designed a very consistent, continuous program, so that from school to school, even though you might have a different lead partner agency, you’re going to find a consistent quality product,” Wimmer said.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire and Sioux Falls YMCA will both be a part of it.
“We already go to several schools in the Sioux Falls School District and pick up kids and bring them to our location. Now we’re going to be able to serve a lot of those same kids at their school, so that’s really a great opportunity to reach more kiddos,” Stacy Jones, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire, said.
“We’re going to be able to build off the strengths of all the organizations that are involved. It’s also a lot less time spent on the road for the kids, and so they’re going to be able to stay in schools which they’re familiar with and comfortable within that environment, and we’re going to be able to offer just an all-around better program for the kids,” Sioux Falls YMCA CEO Mike Murphy said.
They plan to focus on efficiency and conserving resources to better serve families.
“We can offer a large number of scholarships to families that can’t afford it, so some of those dollars that may have been spent on transportation or separate buildings, we can repurpose those dollars as a community and put those into scholarships,” Wimmer said.
The new Community Learning Center model is set to kick off in the fall of 2023.
Enrollment for the elementary program is required and begins in January. The district will provide more information to families when that gets closer.