Sioux Empire United Way ‘Connecting Kids’ for 15 years

Local News


The Sioux Empire United Way is helping hundreds of kids in KELOLAND take part in local activities for free or at a reduced price through its Connecting Kids program. 

Summer is a popular time for swimming lessons at indoor and outdoor pools in Sioux Falls. 

“If they’re in a situation where they are in water that’s over their head or they’ve fallen out of a boat, something like that, they have the ability to help themselves. That’s the goal,” Pearson said. 

City of Sioux Falls Recreation Program Coordinator Jean Pearson says a partnership with Sioux Empire United Way means more kids are getting a chance to get used to the water thanks to a Connecting Kids certificate. 

“They have the opportunity to take lessons, either indoor or outdoor depending on where you live in town. What’s easily accessible to you. Or they can also use that Connecting Kids certificate for a summer swim pass or an annual swim pass for those kids that might not be able to afford it,” Pearson said. 

Last year, Connecting Kids helped more than 650 children participate in an activity of their choice and this year, it hopes to connect even more. 

25 different organizations are involved. Kids can pick from a variety of sports, camps, classes and fine arts activities they’re interested in. 

“It allows them to participate if their family or their parent or guardian doesn’t have the means to participate. It allows them to participate at a free or reduced rate,” Ridge said. 

It’s just another program the Sioux Empire United Way funds to help families in Minnehaha, Lincoln, McCook and Turner counties. 

“When you give to United Way it goes to everybody in our community. You’re not helping just one person, you’re helping multiple people all at once,” Ridge said. 

Connecting Kids is available for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. The program has been around for 15 years. Those interested in getting a certificate need to be able to show a financial need. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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