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YFS Receives Hundreds of Backpacks and Tablets for Head Start Children

Posted on Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Brianna

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In late December, Youth & Family Services received a generous and exciting donation from Foundation 4Life, that consisted of 300 backpacks filled with school supplies, 300 messenger bags, and 300 VTech educational tablets.

Foundation 4Life is based in Sandy, Utah. The organization focuses on educational initiatives to better the lives of low-income students across the globe, originally contacted the National Head Start Association who referred them to South Dakota Head Start Association. The SD Head Start Association referred Foundation 4Life to Youth & Family Services. Foundation 4Life believes education has the power to elevate a child out of poverty and their hope is to provide children with an opportunity to grow and reach their full potential as a productive contributor to society.

Throughout the month of January, the backpacks, bags, and tablets were distributed throughout Youth & Family Services Rapid City Head Start and Rural Head Start programs. YFS Rapid City Head Start and YFS Rural Head Start are federally funded, comprehensive early childhood education programs for low-income children from birth to age 5 and their families. These programs, free to families who qualify, are designed to enhance children’s physical, social, and emotional development, and support parents in fulfilling their roles. During the 2012-2013 school year, 677 children and their families in Rapid City and across eight western South Dakota counties benefited from the YFS Head Start programs.

The estimated value of Foundation 4Life’s donation to YFS is in excess of $20,000. The backpacks, messenger bags, and tablets will be used to promote school readiness.  The Vtech tablets will also help promote emergent literacy skill development. The tablets are being used in every YFS Rapid City Head Start classrooms as a fun, hands-on instructional tool. YFS Rural Head Start staff members are also using the tablets as fun learning tools when they work with children and their families in their homes throughout western South Dakota.

Connie Olson, YFS Development Director stated, “These resources will be extremely helpful to supplement the direct service programming that children enrolled in YFS Head Start programs currently receive through their classroom and home visit experiences. We are very grateful that Foundation 4Life partnered with YFS to help ensure the academic success of hundreds of children living in western South Dakota.”

Youth & Family Services Parenting Series Begins January 30, 2014

Posted on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 by Brianna


The YFS Counseling Center will begin the next series of Love and Logic Parenting classes on Thursday, January 30.

This nationally-recognized program is offered to parents and caregivers who would like to learn how to better communicate with their children and build healthy, respectful relationships within their families. These courses offer the tools and techniques needed to make parenting more fun, fulfilling and less stressful.

This constructive approach to parenting is designed to enable adults to teach children to be responsible for their actions and decisions, and prepare them for life in the real world. Adults are instructed to first use empathy to convey to children that they are loved and then use logic to determine solutions to problems. Adults replace anger and empty threats with enforceable statements and hold children accountable for solving their own problems by offering them choices within limits.

This Love and Logic session will kick off on January 30, 2014 at 6 p.m. Classes will be held at the YFS Counseling Center located at 202 E. Adams Street in Rapid City. Cost is $76 per individual, or $95 per couple. Scholarships and sliding fee scale adjustments are available. Classes will take place every Thursday from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.  For more information, please call 342-4789.

EAFB and Employees of United States Postal Services Help Make Magical Memories at YFS Child Care

Posted on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 by Brianna


Ellsworth Air Force Base’s 28th Operations Group returned to YFS Child Care to carry out a special holiday mission Thursday, December 19.

The 28th Operations Group, which includes the 28th Operations Support Squadron, 34th Bomb Squadron, 37th Bomb Squadron, and 432nd Attack Squadron, once again brought Santa and Mrs. Clause to Youth & Family Services Child Care facility and delivered toys that squadron members collected over the last several weeks for children enrolled in the YFS Child Care program. This was the seventh year the 28th OG collected and donated gifts to infant, toddler, and preschool-aged children enrolled in the program.

During the month of November and early in the month of December, YFS Child Care staff provided the names and ages of infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children in their program to squadron members who then purchased and wrapped gifts for every child. Squadron members delivered more than 160 gifts to the youngsters in the YFS Child Care program.

Approximately 12 squadron members arrived with Santa on the bitter Thursday afternoon.

The idea of a toy drive started among members of the 28th OSS who wanted to bring a little Christmas cheer to an organization in the community, and make a difference in the lives of children and families.

That spirit of giving soon spread to the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons, whose members and families enthusiastically began adding to the growing pile of presents for YFS children. The 432nd Attack Squadron, a new addition to EAFB, joined in the festivities this year as well.



Santa was also able to distribute gifts that were donated to the school-aged children enrolled in YFS Child Care. Gifts for these children were purchased, wrapped, and donated by workers of Rapid City’s local United States’ Postal Service office.

Each year, workers at the post office purchase gifts for all the school age children at YFS Child Care and deliver them the morning that Santa comes to visit the kids. This year, Jeffrey Kurz, USPS Mail Carrier, and retired USPS Mail Carrier, Robert Orelup, braved the blizzard-like conditions and used their day off to come unload a truck full of gifts for the children.

Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprises Collects Gifts for YFS Girls Inc. Members

Posted on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 by Brianna

Mary Beshara, DBE staff member (left) with Nikki, morning show host on SHE 106.3 (right) pose with a portion of the gifts they helped collect for 100 members of YFS Girls Inc.

Mary Beshara, DBE staff member (left) with Nikki, morning show host on SHE 106.3 (right) pose with a portion of the gifts they helped collect for 100 members of YFS Girls Inc.

From mid-November through Dec. 18, two stations at Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprises, Classic Hits Q 92.3 and SHE 106.3, collaborated with Youth & Family Services Girls Incorporated® of Rapid City to spread some holiday cheer to 100 members of the youth organization.

Beginning in mid-November, radio show hosts from both Q 92.3 and SHE 106.3 organized cards with the name, age, and gift idea from a member from YFS Girls Inc. The radio show hosts spent the next month encouraging listeners in the community to help make these young girls’ holiday season extra special. Listeners were asked to pick up a card from the radio station and purchase a gift for one of these young ladies. Gift ideas on the cards included: socks, sweatshirts, pants, craft projects, art supplies, hair accessories, toys, movies, and a variety of other items, all which could be purchased for a reasonable price.

This year, Classic Hits Q 92.3 and SHE 106.3 and their listeners in the community were able to fill all 100 wishes of the YFS Girls Inc. members and make an additional monetary donation to Youth & Family Services.

Rick Allen, Program Director of Classic Hits Q 92.3 stated, “We do it for a couple of reasons– mainly to help out the girls of Girls Inc., but also because it’s the season of giving and caring for people. Some to these girls don’t have things that everyone else takes for granted. It’s really our listeners who are the ones stepping up to help out. We just put the message out on the air.”

Meyer and Dana Orthodontics Donate Oral Care Tree to YFS Kids

Posted on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 by Brianna


On December 16, Youth & Family Services received a wonderful treat from Meyer and Dana Orthodontics: A lovely Christmas tree that was beautifully decorated with oral care products!

According to Darla Hagel from Meyer and Dana Orthodontics, the tree– trimmed with silver decorations along with toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste, bottles of mouthwash, and tubes of lip balm– was originally created by staff members from Meyer and Dana Orthodontics for the 34-day Community Awareness Campaign at the Rushmore Mall that benefitted Behavior Management Systems.

The tree was dropped off at Youth & Family Services’ Child Care facility at 120 E. Adams Street in Rapid City on December 16. The tree adds a bit of festive sparkle to the YFS Child Care lobby, and most importantly gives the kiddos attending YFS programs the opportunity to take home some wonderful products that will help them keep their teeth nice and healthy.

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 “We are familiar with the organization, we like the organization, and we were just happy someone could benefit from the tree,” stated Hagel.

Amanda Moriarty, YFS Child Care Director stated, “The children and families at YFS Child Care were so excited to see the wonderful tree that was donated to YFS Child Care by Meyer and Dana Dental/Orthodontics. Numerous children were overjoyed by the sheer size of the tree. The administrative staff has had the pleasure of hearing several children say “This is the biggest tree I have ever seen!” Children are being allowed to take the dental health decorations as well. It might be just toothpaste or a toothbrush, but so often so often children are not allowed to touch decorations. These children are not only are they allowed to take these decorations off the tree and bring them home, but they’re also something they will be able to use.”