Early Learner South Dakota to Receive National Advocacy Grant

Grant money from the Alliance for Early Success will be used for early learning advocacy efforts across South Dakota

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Early Learner South Dakota, a group comprised of advocates for young children, has been working for nearly two years on expanding the awareness of the importance of early learning throughout the state.


The Alliance for Early Success (who recently granted money to Early Learner SD) is a national nonprofit that works with early childhood policy advocates at the state level to ensure that every child, birth through eight, has an equal opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed.


A grant of $25,000 was awarded to focus on the following initiatives in South Dakota: Public policy forum, awareness campaign, statewide and local advocacy efforts and to build and extent an advocacy toolkit.

United Way of the Black Hills partners with the Early Learner movement both with staff time and grant facilitation.

Kayla Klein, Director of Black Hills Reads, says, “90 percent of the brain, and connections in the brain are built within the first five years of life, so this is a very important time during a child’s life that we need to take advantage of – this learning opportunity that they have.”

There is a common goal between both entities, and all of our state partners, to lift the voices of early learners and families in this state.

These two entities and other state stakeholders will continue with statewide early learning advocacy efforts along with supporting communities that wish to become ‘Early Learning Communities’.


Klein also says, “When children have quality early learning experiences, they are less likely to commit crimes when they are older. They are more likely to graduate high school, they are more likely to go on to post secondary education, and they are more likely to just be more dedicated citizens overall.”

For more information regarding the Early Learner SD initiative, please contact Kayla Klein at info@earlylearnersd.org.

Click here for more information on Early Learner SD.



Categories: Local News, South Dakota News