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.


Unsupervised children are at risk for accidents and injuries, behavior problems, and school achievement and adjustment issues. But opportunities for meaningful summer and afterschool time are scarce in lower-income neighborhoods where kids need transportation to youth activities and families can’t afford program fees.

This year, the Out-of-School Time Action Team focused on how to more effectively use libraries, community centers, and school buildings to provide free out-of-school programs. The downtown Siouxland Library, where in the past as many as 50 kids have shown up after school to wait for working parents to pick them up, would like to offer learning activities and, with Boys & Girls Club of the Sioux Empire’s help, provide snacks to hungry students.

The team also reached out to the YMCA, which provides a no-fee afterschool program at Whittier and McGovern middle schools. The resulting YMCA Program Enhancement Task Team will bring volunteers and program staff from other agencies to share educational, athletic, tutoring, and life skills and workforce training with Whittier and McGovern students. The task team hopes to share the enhanced programming with the City’s community centers and summer Parks & Recreation program.

Investigating ways to expand K-5 enrichment opportunities is next on the to-do list.

The best after school programs address all aspects of a child’s life, their physical well-being, social and emotional needs, character development, and academic and career success. Whether it’s relationship issues, racial tension, or food insecurity, children need to learn how to successfully navigate life. Each one of us has the opportunity to influence their experience.

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

Stephanie Bents, Siouxland Libraries
Becky Deelstra, Volunteers of America, Dakotas
Allison Green, South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation
John Hegg, Community Stakeholder
Karla Johnson, South Dakota Afterschool Network
Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
Jodi Miller, Kids Inc.
Michelle Moller, DSS Child Protective Services
Kim Overby, Community Stakeholder
Kassidi Smith, KIDSTOP/First United Methodist Church
Eric Saathoff, Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation
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.

Teams can accommodate up to 15 members for two-year terms. One-third of Action Team membership turns over every two years and opportunities for Task Team volunteers are always available. Contact us to learn more.

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