SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Empire United Way Campaign kicks off in a few weeks. Money raised during the campaign goes to a variety of important, local organizations including the Sioux Falls Hope Coalition and it’s eight preschools. The coalition is a group of churches, business and nonprofits that strive to provide preschool to at-risk children in Sioux Falls.
There’s a 150 kids getting an opportunity to learn in preschool thanks to the Sioux Falls Hope Coalition. Four-year-old Sudais is currently working on his numbers at the Central Church Downtown preschool.
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. I got six!” Sudais said.
Sudais is one of 30 kids on a preschool scholarship here. Preschool director Jessi Copeland says this part of town has a big need.
“Kids that wouldn’t normally be able to afford preschool would start kindergarten not ready for preschool. We provide the opportunity for them to get into school and start their education and also just build their language and social and other skills that they need to start school ahead of the game rather than always trying to catch up,” Copeland said.
Copeland says almost all of her students speak another language in addition to English. They attend classes here during the school year at no cost thanks to funding from the Sioux Empire United Way.
“One of our biggest partners and without them, we wouldn’t have scholarships available for these kids,” Copeland said.
For Sudais, who wants to be a police officer when he grows up, it’s a safe place to get an education and meet new people.
Matt Holsen: What do you like the most?
Sudais: I like the most… friends.
While 150 kids are getting a free preschool education, the goal is to make it available for 350 students every year.