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Sioux Falls to adopt new after school program model

Beginning with the 20223-24 school year, the Sioux Falls School District will adopt a community learning center, or CLC, model for public elementary school after school programs.

Rebecca Wimmer, district coordinator of community partnerships and after school programs, said CLC aims to improve from previous models.

"We have some community agencies who are going to partner with us in transitioning care from maybe some agencies that are providing programming in separate places across the community to partnering with us in providing care on-site at the schools during the after school and summer timeframe,” Wimmer said.

Wimmer said it’s an effort to improve outcomes for students.

“Kids that attend after school are more likely to have improved grades, they perform better on academic testing, they also are more likely to graduate from high school and they earn higher incomes as adults," Wimmer said. "So, as a community we want to make sure that as many of our students as possible have access to those after school programs.”

Not all students have the same access to traditional after school programs. Wimmer said the CLC program aims to fix that.

“There’s barriers such as the expense of after school programs, there’s transportation barriers," Wimmer said. "So looking at those things we really wanted to develop a program that first of all utilized those community resources that we have, and then also develop a program that would be accessible to most families in the community.”

Involved community nonprofits include the local Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, and Volunteers of America chapter.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture