Sioux Falls’ quality of life and economic vitality depend on youth achieving their highest potential. Yet one-third of our school-age children face disadvantages that make educational and career achievement difficult if not impossible.
Thrive-facilitated collaboration harnesses a full spectrum of community leadership to realign existing resources, remove obstacles to student success, and foster opportunity for all children, from cradle to career.
Cradle to career initiatives are designed to help school-age children reach their highest levels of academic and career potential.
Though it may seem counter-intuitive, the initiatives do not focus on what goes on in the classroom. That’s because the environment a child comes from has a profound effect on how well they do in school. When a child’s family struggles to provide a safe home and adequate nutrition — or doesn’t have the ability to help with homework assignments — the child is not likely to come to school ready to learn.
Cradle to career initiatives begin by identifying situations that have a negative impact on a child’s academic success and bringing action teams together to engage in complex, cross-sector problem-solving.
Since its beginning in 2017
Sioux Falls Thrive has worked to ensure our kids succeed in becoming all that they can be. We want all young people growing up in the metro area to be prepared to lead productive lives and give back to our community, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, or zip code.
WE DO THAT BY:
Identifying obstacles to student success.
Conducting a comprehensive study of each obstacle through Augustana University Research Institute.
Convening cross-sector action teams charged with eliminating or significantly, permanently reducing the impact of that obstacle on student success.
Igniting strategies that make the most of existing community resources that support children and families in need.
The obstacles Thrive tackles are complex social issues — challenges tied to the growing income disparity that affects cities across the nation. The road is long, but our community is strong.
There’s no better time than today, there’s no better place than Sioux Falls to press on toward our children’s successful futures.
Sioux Falls Thrive Action Teams aim to improve the support systems on which children and their families depend. It’s a form of systems thinking defined in the book “Upstream” by Dan Heath.
A Thrive task team has developed a unique housing screening tool that virtually anyone in the community could use to make a housing referral.
For Anny Libengood, service providers have long needed and discussed many changes to the local housing system. Now those changes are becoming reality.
With rural populations declining, sustaining a competitive workforce requires Sioux Falls to grow its own. That begins with school-age children.