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April 16, 2018 10:03 PM

The Sioux Falls Promise

100 more low-income families in Sioux Falls will have the opportunity to send their little ones to preschool, thanks to a nonprofit called the Hope Coalition. 

A new partnership was announced recently with Central Church. KELOLAND News talked with both organizations about what this means for local kids. 

"Preschool is absolutely critical to kids achieving success in graduating from high school," Director of Operations at Central Church Bob Kiner said. 

That's why Hope Coalition started a preschool initiative called the Sioux Falls Promise.

"We know from lots of research that preschool is one of the top ways that kids can really get up to speed with other children and graduate at higher rates, and do better in school. So it's really important," Hope Coalition Board Director Randell Beck said. 

The goal of the organization is to get more children into the classroom before kindergarten.

"Unfortunately because it's so expensive and there are limited spots available, many low income kids just don't get the opportunity in Sioux Falls," Beck said. 

Hope Coalition announced Central church will become its fourth partner to join the initiative, which means at least a hundred more children will be able to attend preschool free of charge in the next school year. 

"We're super excited. This is a fantastic opportunity. One of the neat things is that we have an opportunity to work downtown," Kiner said. 

In just a few short months Central Church will expand its classes to a building just west of downtown Sioux Falls, to serve those families of the Pettigrew heights area.

And just how much does it cost to send a child to preschool? 

"For $2,500 a year you can put a kid through a whole year of preschool. So it's $2,500 and that takes care of all the costs associated with that," Beck said. 

"The opportunity now with the preschool in Pettigrew Heights allows us to teach those kids skills that they need that they never would've had without the partnership with the Hope coalition," Kiner said. 

Hope Coalition raises money to help its partners cover the costs for the kids. If you would like to help make the Sioux Falls Promise come true, you can donate on their website.
 
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