Sioux Falls Thrive is developing a demonstration initiative called Kid Link with direction from Thrive’s Food Security Action Team.
Thrive’s leadership has adopted a neighborhood approach to collaboration that produces immediate benefits for school-age children. Over the next three years, Kid Link will realign community resources to better serve children and their families in Riverside and two additional neighborhoods.
The children and families of Laura B. Anderson Elementary School (LBA) are the ultimate beneficiaries of this first phase, known as Kid Link Riverside.
Before completing engagement plans, Augustana Research Institute will conduct focus groups with local service providers and consumers. Although food security is the primary focus, the research will inevitably uncover housing and out-of-school time needs. Environmental concerns such as public safety, transportation, and community health issues are also expected to surface.
Kid Link Riverside will:
- Establish trust and credibility with the Riverside community.
- Build relationships in the Riverside community with dignity and respect.
- Engage the Riverside community in identifying wants, needs and potential solutions.
- Align existing community resources to develop sustainable outcomes for the Riverside community.
- Identify needs and wants of LBA families
- Form an engagement collaborative charged with addressing needs using existing resources
- Implement changes
- Measure the change in student performance
Because Kid Link Riverside is a demonstration project, the exact timeline for research, community engagement, solution finding, and implementation isn’t known. Thrive partners have begun meeting, and plan to share research results in the coming weeks.
Early Participants for Kid Link Riverside
Organizations involved in initial meetings for this initiative have included:
- Community churches: First United Methodist Church, Wesley Methodist Church, Oak Hills Baptist Church, Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Sermon on the Mount Mennonite Church
- Grand Prairie Foods
- Avera McKennan
- Toy Lending Library of South Dakota
- Health Connect of South Dakotas
- Head Start, Sioux Falls Schools
- Pulso Hispano
- St. Francis House
- Sioux FallsCity Planning, Health, Fire Rescue and Police Departments
- Siouxland Libraries
- Salvation Army
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About Sioux Falls Thrive
In addition to the Food Security group, Thrive supports two additional action teams, one focused on Housing, the other on how kids spend their Out-of-School Time. All three action teams focus on broad, systemic change and work to remove obstacles to student success by using existing community resources.
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.