Tickets Still Available

The 2021 documentary, Starting At Zero explores the power of investing in high-quality early childhood education so that all children and families have the opportunity to attain the American Dream.

You’re Invited to Join the Conversation

Join Sioux Falls Thrive, Promising Futures Fund, Sioux Falls Hope Coalition, EmBe, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire in a community discussion. This is an opportunity for business, government, education, and faith communities to learn more about early childhood education and how it can impact the future of our community.

7 – 9 a.m.
Friday, March 4, 2022
State Theater
316 S. Phillips Ave., Sioux Falls, SD

The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion led by childcare and workforce industry leaders:

  • Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, Lutheran Social Services
  • Denise Guzzetta, Sioux Falls Development Foundation
  • Rebecca Wimmer, Sioux Falls School District
  • Rep. Taylor Rehfeldt, District 14, South Dakota House of Representatives

Tickets are free. Seating is limited.

Click the video above to watch the trailer.

The film brings together the voices of policymakers, educators, academics, business leaders, pediatricians, parents, and children. It features five current and past governors who are champions of early childhood education: Governors Steve Bullock of Montana, Kay Ivey of Alabama, and Ralph Northam of Virginia, as well as former Governors Jim Hunt of North Carolina, and Phil Bryant of Mississippi.

Starting at Zero examines the latest developmental brain science to demonstrate how essential the
earliest years of learning are to maximize human potential. Key features of high-quality early childhood
learning environments and experiences are outlined and then brought to life as the film delves into the
evolution of Alabama’s #1 nationally ranked state Pre-K program.

A Call to Action

Starting at Zero culminates with a call to leaders across America for collective action: to set our nation on the path to future success through significant investments in high-quality early childhood education, both to support today’s workforce, and to build the workforce of tomorrow.

At the heart of the film is the affirmation that if children are given the opportunity to thrive in settings with caring, responsive adults, the returns to our society will be deep and long-lasting.

This free event is brought to you by Sioux Falls Thrive and Promising Futures Fund in partnership with Sioux Falls Hope Coalition, EmBe, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire, KELOLand TV and the film’s producers.

About Sioux Falls Thrive

Thrive is an independent South Dakota nonprofit founded by the Chamber of Commerce, Development Foundation, United Way, and the Community Foundation. Its mission is to ensure that all children in the Sioux Falls area have the resources they need to achieve their highest academic and career potential. There are nearly 150 communities in the US pursuing cradle to career initiatives similar to the work of Sioux Falls Thrive. Learn more online at

About Promising Futures Fund

Promising Futures Fund is fund designed to help eliminate the poverty disadvantage facing thousands of students throughout Sioux Falls.

Gifts to the Promising Futures Fund will support efforts intended to:

  • Increase a child’s educational experience
  • Increase outside experiences, such as field trips, tours, events, speakers, etc.
  • Provide inspiration and hope so students can see themselves in a world outside of poverty

Distributions from the fund will be made based on recommendations from a volunteer committee. The primary focus of the Promising Futures Fund is the following 14 schools throughout the city at which the majority of students qualify for free and/or reduced lunch.

Learn more at

About Hope Coalition

The Sioux Falls Hope Coalition focuses on narrowing the achievement gap in our community through one simple strategy: Ensuring that every child gets a chance to attend preschool. Through preschool partnerships, generous financial supporters, and the United Way, the coalition seeks to connect all children to existing high quality preschool programs regardless of their family’s ability to pay private tuition. Learn more at

About EmBe

We transform lives. We care about our community. We offer meaningful programs for women and their families in order to enrich lives, and we serve the entire community by empowering others. With EmBe, women excel. Youth thrive. Families succeed. Learn more at

About Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota

How we respond to life’s challenges is what shapes us and sets the course for our future. LSS is where life stories can take shape. We provide diverse and vital services to help guide, grow, heal and cope with any number of challenges you might be facing. Learn more at

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire

About Boys & Girls  Clubs of the Sioux Empire

For nearly 70 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire has been there for kids and families adapting to ever changing needs. Serving Sioux Falls, Brandon and Harrisburg through programs for children 4 weeks – age 18. Learn more at

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