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.

Storyteller Series: Mental Health Awareness – Lisa Verdin

I’ve never thought of myself as an actor. I seek out genuine relationships and appreciate authenticity in others. I have always felt like those are the qualities others can count on receiving from me…and mostly that’s true.

I have struggled with anxiety most of my life. For me anxiety can often feel like performing. Anxiety is uncomfortable and, in an effort, to feel good and avoid swirling thoughts, self-doubt and constant worry you can become a great actor. That acting can look like high-performance, being helpful and hardworking, performing well under pressure, social and confident. What’s happening inside is much less attractive, it’s poor boundaries and people pleasing, it’s a fear of failure, it’s self-loathing, it’s over analyzing every interaction of your day, it’s guilt.

It’s exhausting.  

I’m still learning to identify these anxiety behaviors and combat them with supportive personal and professional environments, safe spaces that allow me to be uncomfortable and grow. It’s allowing myself to feel the things I’ve worked hard to avoid and be reassured in knowing that the feeling won’t last forever. It’s understanding that asking for support, taking medication and having unmanageable moments are not weakness and they certainly don’t define me.

For me the work and growth comes when I confront the actor, when I choose not to avoid but engage with my own internal conflict.

Managing my anxiety happens every minute of every day. It is a journey and not a destination.


Lisa Verdin

Director of Marketing & Engagement


If you need help finding support, visit or call 211 now.

Visit 211 Helpline   


Training and Professional Development – April

Training and Professional Development – April

LOCAL OPPORTUNITIES                 WEBINARS Click2Engineering’s Including All Learners in Engineering Wednesday, April 24th, 2024 Noon-1:00 pm ET; 9:00 am-10:00 am PST In a highly competitive world, how do we create program...

Activities & Resources for Programs – April

Activities & Resources for Programs – April

Activities Video: dna activities for kids - Yahoo Search Results Video Search Results This video designed for kids is a fun/exciting way to introduce DNA to children. In this video kids will learn facts all about DNA, what it is made of, chromosomes, traits and much...

Activities & Resources for Programs – March

Activities & Resources for Programs – March

Activities Mathematics & Probability Science Activity: Asked to get an estimate for the famed mathematical constant, Pi, you might do what the ancient Greeks did: Divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter. Or you can estimate Pi by a less conventional...