South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center honored for advocacy in education

Morgan VonHaden, the Project Manager for SDSFEC, received the 2021 Excellence in Advocacy Award during the Coalition on Adult Basic Education's National Conference held virtually this year.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center is funded with federal grant money; it’s a small team of people across the state who fill the gap in what families need to succeed.

Daily Digest

They were recently recognized for their work. Morgan VonHaden, the Project Manager for SDSFEC, received the 2021 Excellence in Advocacy Award during the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (or CO-ABE)’s national conference, held virtually this year, and says it was an honor to be recognized.
Morgan VonHaden

Morgan VonHaden

Morgan VonHaden

VonHaden says, “A lot of the resources we have designed is to help the families support their kiddos, then also giving the the resources of how do you continue on to higher education and because of the whole team being able to put those resources together. It’s such an honor that we get to be recognized.”

COABE Award

When the pandemic hit, the team at the South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center was busy at work putting resources together to connect schools, educators, families and community partners to reach as many people as possible.
VonHaden says, “Because the question always is, when this pandemic is over, have we done everything that we can possibly do to support our families and our educators during this past year.”
Adult Learners, CLCBH

Adult Learners, Courtesy CLCBH

Adult Learners, CLCBH

They focus on learner needs from cradle to career, putting out a digital, daily digest full of community resources, the Fam Jam podcast, and Kindergarten Readiness Cards to name a few. They also have a robust college and career resource guide – topics like how to apply for college or scholarships money.
“So we focus on birth to five, K thru 12, and the college and career pillar – and when we talk about family, families look different in every spectrum of the game so when we are talking about college and career, and you are wanting to get you high school diploma – GED, certifications, it still takes a whole family for that one person to be successful,” says VonHaden.
Adult Learners, CLCBH

Adult Learners, Courtesy CLCBH

Adult Learners, CLCBH

Many of the resources they put together also benefit adult learners as they were having to learn the curriculum as well as teaching their own children.

Stephenie Rittberger, the Adult Education Coordinator at the Career Learning Center of the Black Hills, says, “What happened in the adult educator world is that teachers were taking a lot of time to teach the students how to teach their children and it was frustrating and hard for them because they has multiple kiddos in the household and they were getting a lot of different platforms and they might not have felt like everything was going smooth, but at least when they used the daily digest, there was at least something that every kiddo could do.”
Financial Fridays, Courtesy CLC

Financial Fridays, Courtesy CLC

Financial Fridays, Courtesy CLC

Adult literacy organizations are key partners for SFEC’s initiatives, also collaborating together on Financial Fridays—a series of virtual financial literacy presentations and a virtual graduation event that garnered the attention of several elected officials.
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Categories: ConnectCenter1-Family, Local News, South Dakota News