In November 2023, Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation staff and volunteers surprised educators at Axtell Park and Hawthorne Elementary with loaves of holiday dessert bread. Education Foundation staff purchased more than 200 loaves of cranberry orange pecan, lemon poppyseed, and pumpkin bread from The Cookie Jar in downtown Sioux Falls. Neither Axtell Park nor Hawthorne Elementary have parent teacher organizations.
Volunteers distributed the bread at the schools before Thanksgiving break. The last week in November, staff provided 15 loaves of cinnamon cobblestone, freedom, honey wheat, and honey oat from Breadsmith to the 14 school-based social workers and their advisor. Social workers administer the Student Success Fund for the Education Foundation, connecting children and families in crisis with personal hygiene products, emergency food assistance, winter gear, school supplies, bed bug cream, and lice shampoo. The Education Foundation provides each social worker with $1,000 at the start of each school year, and social workers use funds to support students in crisis situations. Since August, children attending 22 schools have utilized the fund.
The bread distribution is part of the Education Foundation’s efforts to enhance staff appreciation activities. The organization has provided catered meals at Laura B. Anderson Elementary, Horace Mann Elementary, Lowell Elementary, and Whittier Middle School. Staff from Horace Mann Elementary enjoyed a suite night at the Sioux Falls Skyforce game; they were able to bring their spouses and children, and the Education Foundation provided food for the night. Staff at Cleveland Elementary and Hayward Elementary will receive a catered lunch in December, and the Education Foundation will sponsor the holiday party for staff at Terry Redlin Elementary in January.