The Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation is comprised of an all-volunteer board that works with the Sioux Falls School District to enhance educational opportunities and promote achievement among all students by supporting academic projects and activities not funded by tax dollars.
Any teacher in the Sioux Falls School District can apply for up to $10,000 to purchase materials that are creative, engaging, and inventive. Donations from individuals and businesses, and the Education Foundation’s proceeds from the endowment, fund this program. Each year we receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant requests from teachers across the district. A committee reviews each submission (this is a competitive process), and they make final recommendations to the Foundation Board of Directors.
These $200 grants are given to first-time, first-year teachers to help them purchase supplies for their classrooms. At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, 62 First Time Teacher Grants were awarded, totaling $12,400. In 2017, the Education Foundation was able to double this grant from $100 to $200, thanks to a generous donation from the Mary Chilton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Huether Family Foundation, the Education Foundation has used $10,000 to help close the equity gap in our schools. Social workers, employed by the Sioux Falls School District, work closely with at-risk students. Social workers have used funds to purchase clothing for families fleeing domestic violence, emergency food assistance for parents who lack transportation to get to other community resources, and personal hygiene products. Funds have also been used to offer scholarships to students who want to take the GED, but they cannot afford the $130 exam fee.