Black Hills Reads striving for greater attendance in schools


RAPID CITY, S.D. — Blacks Hills Reads wants to show the importance of attending school and learning when it comes to the education of kids in grades k-5.

Because of the organization’s goals, Black Hills Reads will pick six grand prize winners out of over 6,200 kids in the Rapid City Area for a poster contest that stresses the importance of attendance. Students were given guidelines of what to include in the artwork with one of them being that they had to creatively incorporate the phrase “Every Day Counts”.

Out of the 6,200 students, there were 84 semifinalists that will be judged by eight different judges that range from teachers, non-profit organization leaders, United Way of the Black Hills board and cabinets members as well as community leaders. All judges volunteered to judge the finalists.

“Projects like this (the attendance poster contest) are super important because it gets the word out that every day counts,” said Nicole Swigart who is the Title I D Principle for the Rapid City School District.

Swigart works with truancy and referrals in the state and knows the importance of going to school and being prepared to learn.

“Every day missed in class is potential knowledge lost,” Swigart said. “One of the pillars for the RCA school district is reading at grade level. Reading instruction is really important and being in class everyday allows students to improve their reading skills. Attendance allows students to get that foundational knowledge and build on that. We want to work with United Way to emphasize to our community that all attendance matters.”

Kayla Klein, the Director of Black Hills Reads hopes that the program will continue to excite students about the idea of learning and going to school.

“Chronic absenteeism is defined by missing 10% of the school year, and that is only missing 2 days per month,” Klein said. “More children than we would hope are struggling with chronic absenteeism in the Rapid City Area School District. Our hopes are this program will help children recognize the importance of being on time, every day, ready to learn.”

The members for each grade level will be presented with their awards in the first week of March.

There will be presentations at Meadowbrook Elementary School on Tuesday, Mar. 3 from 8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m., and Wilson Elementary on Friday, Mar. 6 starting at 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.Black Hills Reads



Categories: Local News, South Dakota News