Early Learner SD Awarded $58,000 | South Dakota Community Foundation

Early Learner SD Awarded $58,000

January 11, 2023 // Grants, Beyond Idea Grant Program

The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) recently awarded Early Learner SD (ELSD) with a $58,000 Beyond Idea Grant (BIG) to support their ongoing efforts to improve access and quality of early learning experiences and environments for the children in our state. Offered in partnership with the Bush Foundation, the Beyond Idea Grant program supports innovative, community-based, problem-solving efforts.

“The BIG award will allow Early Learner South Dakota to elevate the focus on early learning in individual communities while also using this as a catalyst to build successful collaborations for other communities across the state,” says Kayla Klein, ELSD Director.

From left to right: Jess Gromer, ELSD Leadership Committee; Ginger Niemann, SDCF Senior Program Officer; Kayla Klein, ELSD Director; Janessa Bixel, South Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children President; Darbi Hunt, ELSD Leadership Committee; and Marcy Drew; ELSD Leadership Committee.

ELSD exists to promote early childhood education and to give communities the tools they need to support early learning. With BIG funding, ELSD will use an action guide from the National League of Cities to focus on four specific areas: community leadership to make early childhood a priority, quality services for all children and families, neighborhoods where families can thrive, and policies that support families.

“Access to early learning opportunities is an important need in our state,” says Ginger Niemann, SDCF Senior Program Officer. “We’re looking forward to how our grant to ELSD will enhance their work across the state.”

A total of $1.2 million will be available to nonprofits in 2023 through the Beyond Idea Grant program.

SDCF is a public non-profit organization established in 1987. SDCF, with offices in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen administers 1,200 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $30 million in grants in 2022 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit https://sdcommunityfoundation.org/giving to learn more or call 1-800-888-1842.

The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. Established in 1953 by 3M Executive Archibald Bush and his wife Edyth, the Foundation encourages individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area.