Afterschool & Summer Programs

The Case for Transformational Change in Afterschool & Summer Programming in the Sioux Falls School District.

Creating Access for All

High rates of poverty and diversity have made the Sioux Falls School District a true urban center. Nearly 50% of students qualify for Free & Reduced Lunch – the best marker to understand poverty. High rates of poverty and diversity make out-of-school time learning for Sioux Falls kids all that more critical. A child spends roughly 13% of their time in school. A portion of the other 87% is time we need to create access to afterschool and summer programs that are truly impactful for our kids.

Our current afterschool system in Sioux Falls is not accessible to thousands of kids, especially those living in poverty. Costs are prohibitive. Transportation is not available. Meals, tutoring and truly robust learning opportunities are not there. While the many Sioux Falls non-profits involved in afterschool programming do great work, the inefficiencies of off-site, versus school-based, has been a problem recognized by the United Way and other agencies for decades.

We are in the process of creating a new system, one that is based at each of the schools across the Sioux Falls School District and is accessible to all kids, no matter what your family income happens to be. This new system will mean all children will have a better chance to succeed, more parents will have opportunities to enter the workforce and juvenile crime will be reduced. Most importantly, you will see school attendance increase, test scores go up and graduation rates improve – all critical measures determining the success – or failure of our great kids.

Our Leadership

This campaign to create Access for All is being led by Rebecca Wimmer, Coordinator of Community Partnerships and Afterschool Programs for the Sioux Falls School District and Steve Hildebrand, Founder of The Promising Futures Fund.

Community Partners Supporting Access for All

Lutheran Social Services, Boys & Girls Clubs, Volunteers of America, Multicultural Center, EmBe, YMCA, Compassion Childcare, Thrive, United Way, Great Life Cares Foundation, Promising Futures Fund, Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, City of Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls School District, Sioux Falls School Board, Sioux Falls Police, Hope Coalition, Sioux Falls Education Foundation, Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce

Phase 1 Implementation

Elementary Schools

Implement school-based program at all 23 elementary schools.
Dramatically increase enrollment.
Tutoring available to students.
Demonstrate through date, improvement in school attendance, grades and test scores.
Create enhanced learning experience.
Transportation available for kids in need.
Meal/snacks provided.
Remodel of Community Centers.
Independent Evaluation Process Developed.

Middle Schools

Construction of Boys & Girls Club attached to McGovern Middle School
Tutoring and enhanced learning experiences created.
Workforce development introductory courses.

High Schools

Creation of new clubs and summer learning opportunities.
Initiate workforce development program.
Create and implement college access program.

To learn more:
Rebecca Wimmer –
Steve Hildebrand –