Posted on Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Brianna
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.”