Rapid City Mayor spotlights youth development with documentary, discussion

Local leaders in childhood development met Saturday afternoon at the Journey Museum to talk about the issues surrounding our local youth.

Mayor Steve Allender hosted the event to start the conversation on how to educate kids from birth to kindergarten to keep them from growing into a life of poverty.

The group previewed the documentary, “No Small Matter”, which capitalizes on the importance of childhood development; something Allender says is one of the biggest issues he plans to address in 2019.

“We are spending millions of dollars in response to having inadequate early childhood education and broken systems,” said Allender. “It’s time we start looking at root causes.”

He pointed out that poverty can last generations due to a number of factors and educating kids earlier will help break the cycle.

“With more working parents, a busier world, people below the poverty line really suffer providing early childhood education so we’re seeing generational poverty over and over and over,” said Allender.

Currently, South Dakota offers no local or state funding for education under the kindergarten level but the state is looking to establish an Early Learning Advisory Council under House Bill 1175. The bill goes before the State Affairs Committee on Monday.

Here in Rapid City, a second showing of “No Small Matter” will follow up in March. A meeting to further the topic of childhood development will be scheduled after that.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News