Family Support Crucial for Student Learning

January 8, 2021 // Grants, South Dakota Fund Grants

After schools shut down in March 2020 to slow the pandemic’s spread, the South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center (SD SFEC) staff and partners sought creative ways to meet the learning needs of South Dakota’s 150,807 PreK-12 learners. Within a week they had developed and published the first Daily Digest, a collection of online, best practice learning resources designed to help families and educators guide student learning through the end of the school year. In late May, the team extended the concept with themed weekly Summer Digest lessons. The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) was proud to lend their support to this effort via the West River Foundation by awarding them a $20,000 South Dakota Fund grant award. Additional dollars will fund improvements to the Digest, allow for the development of weekly resources to be shared through social media and virtual offerings and assist with recruitment of families and community-based members to participate in their monthly FamJam podcast.

“West River Foundation, with the support of the South Dakota Community Foundation and in partnership with Black Hills Special Services Cooperative is honored to have received a fund grant to continue work on resources focused on family engagement,” said Dr. Pam Lange, Principal Investigator for the SD Statewide Family Engagement Center. “We are excited to carry this work forward and to continue supporting families in this time of need.”

“Families across our state were faced with a challenge when asked to oversee their child’s (children’s) remote learning during the pandemic,” said Ginger Niemann, SDCF Senior Program Officer. “Provision of easily accessible resources is critical. We are proud to lend our support for these efforts.”

In response to the pandemic, SDCF’s Board of Directors established the Coronavirus Response Fund to directly support the needs of communities and nonprofits affected by COVID-19. This fund addresses immediate needs including access to food, shortage of volunteers, healthcare sector support and human services sector support. Donations are being accepted. If you would like to lend your support to those who continue to be impacted by this virus, or just learn more, please visit Donations can be made on-line or checks may be directed to SDCF, PO Box 296, Pierre, SD 57501. One hundred percent of donations made to the SDCF Coronavirus Fund go directly to those in need throughout our state.

About the SDCF

SDCF is a public non-profit organization established in 1987. SDCF, with offices in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen administers over 980 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $18 million in grants in 2019 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 to learn more or call 1-800-888-1842.

Related Website links:

SD SFEC Facebook

SD SFEC website