Out-of-School Enrichment

Increasing access to supervised activities

5-Year Goal

Reduce by 50% the number of children aged 5 to 18 left unsupervised during out-of-school time hours. (Target: 3,000 children)

 Primary objectives:

Align existing out-of-school resources to create an efficient access system

Develop a tactical plan to address significant out-of-school time issues

Monitor performance indicators and the effect of changes.

Out-of-School Time: Following the 80-20 Rule

Kids spend less than 20% of their time in school. It’s the other 80% that Thrive’s Out-of-School Time Action Team, or OSTAT, worries about.

Parents of means can fill their children’s idle after-school and summer hours with activities that increase academic achievement and social-emotional development.

The world is not as kind for children growing up in less-advantaged families. They suffer from an opportunity gap that’s the result of a double whammy. Not only do their parents struggle to provide them with the most basic of human necessities, they often live in underserved neighborhoods — places where the nearest youth program, library, or community center is miles from home.


Working to fill the gaps

The result is what Thrive calls an opportunity gap. It’s why OSTAT is committed to finding ways to bring enriching activities to the kids who need the most support. Because age is a big service delivery factor, It’s no wonder OSTAT has six task teams looking for new solutions for out-of-school-time issues.

  • Elementary School. Kid Link Riverside OST Task Team is a demonstration for grades K-5. In the 2020-21 school year, Thrive’s Kid Link established a successful Tuesday activity night for families in the Laura B. Anderson Elementary School attendance area. Now, the task team aims to open a free, five-day/week after-school program for kids this fall.
  • Middle School. Collaboration among several nonprofits, city parks, community stakeholders, and school administrators produced the YMCA After-School Program Enhancement Task Team. Enhancements kicked in at the downtown Community Youth Center, but pandemic protocols limited implementation at Whittier and McGovern middle schools. Nevertheless, the after-school programs at those schools grew from less than 40 students per day to over 300.
  • High School OST Task Team members were amazed to discover how many programs in Sioux Falls serve this age group, which may be at the greatest risk of falling into activities dangerous to themselves or others. The task team is developing a network of youth-serving agencies to create an ongoing outreach strategy that engages disconnected youth in purposeful activities.


Rounding out OSTAT’s task team contingent

  • GreatLIFE Cares Foundation Youth & Family Development Coalition, a network of business leaders, school administrators, and youth-serving agencies working to expand program access to school-age kids and their families;
  • Sioux Falls Childcare Collaborative, government and nonprofit leaders formed to address providers’ funding and workforce issues;
  • Community Innovation Stakeholder Group, which is developing a temporary employment  pool for childcare workers under a Bush Foundation grant.

Educational Milestones

KINDERGARTEN READINESS Entering kindergarten ready to learn is a predictor of a child’s future educational attainment.

GRADE 3 READING PROFICIENCY Up to third grade, one learns to read. After third grade, one reads to learn. Falling behind in reading in elementary school is an educational handicap few children overcome.

GRADE 8 MATH PROFICIENCY Mastery of basic math skills is necessary to move on to algebra, and mastery of algebra is strongly linked to high school success and college enrollment.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION High school graduates enjoy higher lifetime earnings and are less likely to depend on welfare or become involved in the criminal justice system than those who drop out.

POST-SECONDARY ENROLLMENT Post-secondary education is the gateway to the middle class. To be successful in the global economy some sort of post-secondary education is necessary.

POST-SECONDARY DEGREE COMPLETION A post-secondary degree or certificate is key to long-term financial gain, job stability, and success in and out of the workplace.

Out-of-School Time Action Team Members

Marlys Anderson, The Salvation Army
Stephanie Bents, Siouxland Libraries
Holly Borchers, Washington High School
Becky Deelstra, Volunteers of America, Dakotas
Nancy Fallon, EmBe
John Hegg, Community Stakeholder
Karla Johnson, South Dakota Afterschool Network
Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
Jodi Miller, Kids Inc.
Michael Murphy, YMCA
Kim Overby, Community Stakeholder
Eric Saathoff, Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation
Kassidi Smith, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire
Charles Toomajian, Community Stakeholder
Rebecca Wimmer, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire

OSTAT team members photo

Out-of-School-Time Action Team members pause for a photo during an online meeting.

Thrive Action Teams are key to our mission. They address obstacles to student success by focusing on creating systemic change in the conditions surrounding the educational system.

Action Teams are comprised of individuals who:

  • Represent a cross-section of business, government, nonprofit and faith-based communities.
  • Have knowledge and experience to contribute to the ecosystem issue being addressed.
  • Are willing to make a commitment to participate regularly in Action Team activities.

Team members continue to ask the question, "Do we have the right people at the table?" While the ideal size for an effective group at this level is around 15 members, Thrive Action Teams ebb and flow based on current topics. New and innovative opportunities for volunteers are often available. Contact us to learn more.

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