It’s been said that all a child needs to succeed is a little help, a little hope, and someone who believes in them. When it comes to our kids, Sioux Falls does more than help, hope, and believe.

Sioux Falls Thrive is dedicated to making sure all children succeed, from cradle to career.

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.

Narrowing the focus

In the fall of 2019, Thrive leadership – with financial support from T. Denny Sanford – fine-tuned its strategy to focus on a single neighborhood. The goal: a demonstration project that brings parents and families together to tackle common obstacles to student success.

The historic Riverside neighborhood and Laura B. Anderson Elementary School were selected for the demonstration. Criteria for the choice included the lack of easy access to affordable food, limited transportation options, and a high percentage of school families reliant on SNAP benefits.

Kid Link collaborating Josh Hayes volunteer

Volunteer Josh Hayes talks about making balloon animals with a student from Laura B. Anderson Elementary School.

Named Kid Link Riverside, the demonstration began this summer with a series of events to introduce families to Kid Link organizers. Combined with a weekly commitment of the Bookmobile from Siouxland Libraries and visits from the Nightwatch feeding ministry, volunteers scheduled a series of fun activities to attract children and their parents.

More than 480 books were checked out for use by LBA families, and nearly 400 meals were served over the course of the summer.

None of this could have happened without the collaborative work of more than 100 volunteers. These passionate leaders represent more than 40 businesses and organizations, but also include dozens of advocates from across the community.

Parents and other adults have a huge influence on each child’s success in school. Kid Link Riverside is helping families connect to LBA and support their children’s progress.

Wade Helleson

Principal, Laura B. Anderson Elementary School

Supporting our children

Fall semester at LBA will include weekly events specifically for parents to discover ways they can support their children’s education.

Parents will receive information through their child’s classroom mailbox.

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