The South Dakota Afterschool Network works to better our state and its communities by connecting providers, parents and policymakers with proven tools and resources to increase the quality of and access to out-of-school time programming for K-12 children and youth.

Afterschool is a lifeline that keeps youth safe, helps kids learn and grow, and provides parents the ability to work without worry. While South Dakota is home to more than 300 afterschool programs, the demand for programs exceeds available spaces. In fact, 1 in 3 South Dakota children (34 percent) who are not in an afterschool program would be enrolled if it were available. That’s more than 42,000 children who are missing out on opportunities to participate in programming that supports their development academically, socially and economically.

Afterschool can provide valuable opportunities for students to explore STEM, and we are here to help your program succeed in STEM Learning! From webinars and trainings to our signature TMC Trailers that bring turnkey STEM activities to your doorstep, our diverse collection of resources meets you and your students where you are and provides the support you need to deliver quality programming to your students at any age. 

The South Dakota Afterschool Network wanted to create a mapping tool to better understand the landscape of afterschool and summer programs available for children and families. From the initial launch of the new mapping tool, we have identified some startling findings.

Dealing With Potential Exposure: The Stress Of Physically Reopening Schools

As officials push to reopen schools, many people still don’t feel safe going back in person yet. Across the U.S., districts differ in their plans—some are fully virtual, others are fully in-person, and many are following various hybrid models. You’re probably experiencing stress about an uncertain future. If you’re on edge and feel like you’re waiting for something bad to happen, that’s anticipatory grief. [1] It’s especially confusing with COVID-19 because you know that the virus is out there and causing harm, but you can’t physically see it. The threat of potential exposure to COVID-19 is scary. Some fear is good because it makes you vigilant about taking precautions, but too much fear can do more harm than good. If you are a teacher or have a child that will be going back to school in-person—whether full time, every other day, or every other week—it’s important to prevent that fear from becoming debilitating.

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