Afterschool Alliance Toolkit

This toolkit includes communications assets to help make the case for afterschool across a variety of audiences and platforms.

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Find your legislator to share information about how Afterschool makes a difference in South Dakota.

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Our mission is to support and sustain quality afterschool and youth development programs to serve the needs of South Dakota’s youth. Let us know how we can help.

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Hello Explorers!

National Geographic Education has designed a set of Explorer Classrooms for summer learning programs in partnership with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Summer is a unique time to encourage career exploration and STEM learning, and to introduce youth to new ways to experience and explore the world. Explorer Classrooms are a great way to do both!

About National Geographic Explorer Classroom:
Explorer Classroom connects learners with National Geographic Explorers, bringing science, exploration, and conservation to life through live video events.

How it Works:

  1. Get Registered: Use the “Register Here” links to sign up your program.
  2. Get Ready: Educator Guide here. Help students brainstorm questions for the explorer. An unlimited number of groups can watch live on YouTube and 6 programs will be live onscreen; we’ll let you know if your group was selected for an on-screen spot.
  3. Watch, Ask Questions, and Have Fun! Tune in at the scheduled date and time. Ask the explorer your questions and learn all about life as a National Geographic Explorer.

Two Chances to Explore:

  • Wednesday, July 31st at 1:00pm ET / 12:00pm CT – OnBoard the Nautilus: Hop aboard the legendary ship that discovered the Titanic and continues to make breakthroughs in ocean exploration! The Nautilus is on a mission to explore the never-before-explored areas of the ocean and seek out unknown mysteries. The crew will join live from the ship to show us how exploration under the sea can truly be out of this world!
  • Friday, August 2nd at 10:00am ET / 9:00am CT – In the Field: The Congo: Sarah Michelle Pope is a cognitive neuroscientist studying problem solving in primate species like chimpanzees and baboons, and across human cultures. She will join us from the Congo via livestream to discuss her exciting work!

Take youth on a summer adventure they’ll never forget as they explore new careers in STEM, open their eyes to new worlds and learn from experts – all well within reach with these live streams!

July 31st – Nautilus

  • This summer, the darkest depths of the ocean are within reach when you hop aboard the @evNautilus with real life deep-ocean explorers with @NatGeoEducation #ExplorerClassroom on Wednesday, July 31st at 12pm CT / 11am MT #ThisIsAfterschool #SummerLearning
  • Ever wonder what it is like to explore sunken ships, dark caves, and alien creatures living in the ocean? Now you can find out with @NatGeoEducation #ExplorerClassroom on July 31st, onboard the @evNautilus! Register your program today:
  • Take your program on a voyage on Dr. Bob Ballard’s famed ship the @evNautilus via livestream Wednesday, July 31st at 1pm ET / 10am PT with @NatGeoEducation #ExplorerClassroom! #SummerLearning #ThisIsAfterschool
  • Explore the unknown with underwater adventurers when you hop aboard the @evNautilus via livestream with @NatGeoEducation #ExplorerClassroom on July 31st. Register here:
  • #SummerLearning is a great way for kids to explore all the possibilities of a #STEMCareer. Take your program on an adventure under the sea that they will never forget with @NatGeoEducation #ExplorerClassroom. Register here:

August 2nd – In The Field: The Congo

Join us in our livestream from the Congo to see how Sarah Michelle Pope uses primates to study human behavior during the @NatGeoEducation #ExplorerClassroom on August 2nd at 10am EST #ThisIsAfterschool

  • How can studying chimpanzees help us understand people and culture who are different than us? Find out with Sarah Michelle Pope on August 2nd as she takes us into her life, using science and fieldwork to better understand human behavior across the globe! #ExplorerClassroom #SummerLearning
  • Can studying nomadic peoples in faraway places like the Congo help us improve education across the globe? Tune in at 10am ET on August 2nd to find out from @NatGeoEducation #ExplorerClassroom! Register here:

South Dakota Nonprofit has New Leadership, Renewed Focus

SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, July 8, 2019–South Dakota has joined the ranks of the C.S. Mott Foundation’s 50-state network focused on Afterschool and Summer Learning programs. With this powerful network, South Dakota families have a new advocate and resource: the South Dakota Afterschool Network (SDAN).

SDAN’s mission is to support and sustain quality afterschool, out of school time (OST) and youth development programs to serve the needs of South Dakota’s youth.

South Dakota native Karla Johnson is serving as the Executive Director for SDAN. Johnson comes to SDAN with over 30 years of administrative experience in the OST industry. She is one of the pioneers of afterschool programming in South Dakota, creating programs in elementary schools as early as 1980.  Johnson has established before and after school programs in numerous public and private elementary schools throughout southeast South Dakota, and has provided technical assistance to several school districts across the state as they created before and after school programs for their students.

She is a White Riley Peterson Policy Fellow, a past President of the South Dakota School-Age Care Alliance Board, a past Chair of the SD Afterschool Network, and a past member of the National Afterschool Association Board of Directors.  Johnson is also a past President of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra League and former member of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors.

“As Barbara Mandrell once put it ‘I was country when country wasn’t cool’”, said Johnson. “Just as Barbara was country, I have lived the world of afterschool when it wasn’t cool. Afterschool has come a long way since the late 1970s when I began my career, with milestones marking workforce connections, increased quality and demonstrated impact along the way. I’m anxious to utilize my experience and historical perspective to serve all of South Dakota in this role.”

“I am so excited about the momentum we have created in establishing the South Dakota Afterschool Network!” Enthused Billie Jo Bakeberg, the Chair of the Network’s Leadership Team. “I have worked in the OST field for the past 26 years and am honored to be part of the Leadership Team, shaping a new support system for school age programing and South Dakota’s working families. As the Team’s chair, I am proud of the work that has begun and energized for all the new resources and activities to come.”

EmBe, a South Dakota nonprofit focused on serving women and families, is SDAN’s fiscal sponsor, and Johnson is housed in EmBe’s downtown location, at 300 West 11thStreet in Sioux Falls.

The South Dakota Afterschool Network is the state-wide resource for parents, community leaders, policy makers and program providers to turn to for information regarding Afterschool and Summer Learning and student success. SDAN collaborates with the South Dakota School-Age Care Alliance in sponsoring events throughout the year such as Lights On Afterschool! and Afterschool Day at the Capitol. SDAN also coordinates program improvement initiatives for providers of all sizes.  For more information, please visit https:/


The Aspen Institute released the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and
Academic Development Final Report on January 15th. The release of From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope is filled with profound hope on how we can foster in our children the knowledge, skills, and character to make better lives and a better country.

This report emphasizes translating how people learn into practice and helping students learning skills like collaboration, empathy, and perseverance requires systemic change. This understanding is fueling a growing movement of young people, educators, parents, researchers, leaders in business and civil rights and communities from across the country. Science has made clear that children learn best when we teach them as whole people, and schools and communities are recognizing that they can no longer separate academics and students’ broader development.  To view the whole report, click here.


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