Community Innovation Grant Recipients

Round 3 - 2018


Ground Works Midwest & SD Ag in the Classroom (Statewide): $10,000

Ground Works Midwest is serving as the lead agency for SD Ag in the Classroom. The SD Road Trip: Exploring SD’s Agriculture & History has been developed for 4th grade students and is tied to South Dakota history standards. Students “Road Trip” through twenty-two different South Dakota cities and towns throughout the school year. To date, there are 7,172 4th grade students representing 102 school districts in 332 South Dakota classrooms using this curriculum.

High Plains Fair Housing Center (Statewide): $10,000

The High Plains Fair Housing Center is based in North Dakota and will conduct a statewide fair housing testing audit to better understand the extent and basis of discrimination in South Dakota. At the end of the testing audit period they will hold a statewide meeting to start the conversation about creating a South Dakota led organization that can address housing discrimination in the state.

Special Olympics South Dakota (Statewide): $10,000

Special Olympics South Dakota initially started the Unified Champion School pilot program in twenty-five schools across our state. Funds will help them continue their efforts to bring this program to all our state’s schools. This program is used to change school climates to become more inclusive, reduce impediments and sustain programs that can boost student achievements for all students including those with intellectual disabilities.                                                                                                                     

Three Rivers Special Services Cooperative (Statewide): $10,000

A survey will be developed, with input from the South Dakota Department of Education, to gather, analyze and synthesize data to identify the need for early learning opportunities in South Dakota. Key stakeholders including Birth to 3, the Head Start Collaboration Office, School Administrators of South Dakota, various childcare providers, the South Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children and state legislators will be brought together to address concerns and consider solutions.

Eastern South Dakota

Call to Freedom, Inc. (Sioux Falls, Watertown) $10,000

The first strategic planning meeting of the East River Human Trafficking Task Force was held in June 2018. Seven overall goals were identified. Committees were formed to identify objectives, tasks and timelines for each of these goals. They are entering Phase 2 of their strategic planning process where they will grow stakeholders, solidify committees and meet quarterly. Two pilot communities, Sioux Falls and Watertown have been identified to conduct a community-based needs assessment to better understand resources.

Missouri Sedimentation Action Coalition (Yankton): $10,000

Incorporated in June 2001 and maintaining two offices in Springfield and Yankton, SD, the Missouri Sedimentation Action Coalition (MSAC) is focusing their efforts on conditions at Lewis and Clark Lake as it would be the first upper Missouri River mainstream reservoir to fill with sediment since it is the smallest. The goal is to build stakeholder capacity to successfully collaborate and determine goals for Lewis and Clark Lake’s future and to enhance their ability to work effectively with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

South Dakota State University (Brookings): $10,000

The Rich Normality Design Collaborative (RNDC) is an interdisciplinary initiative focusing on prototype development to enhance early childhood education. Phase two of this project will bring four generations together (university undergraduate students, university faculty, elders living in assisting living centers and children attending pre-school and elementary school) in the development of intergenerational products to be used in both education centers and assisted living environments.

Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History (Sioux Falls): $10,000

The Great Plains Zoo will create a group of Sioux Falls leaders, nonprofit organizations and citizens to evaluate the potential effectiveness of creating a special tax district that would provide funding to cultural facilities in Sioux Falls who provide educational, cultural and science experiences. Funds will support a three-month discover and discussion process with stakeholders from the City of Sioux Falls, representatives from local cultural organizations, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and interested citizens.

Central South Dakota

Bartlett Community Visions (Parmelee): $10,000

Work began four years ago to plan and implement a walking path to help fight the high rate of obesity, diabetes and suicide in the area. Over 30 trees have since been planted. He Dog School will be moving to the East side of Parmelee in two years and they would like to have the trees and walking path extend over to their school-grounds so they can use it for PE, science and other cultural purposes. The walking path will be a safe, fun place for youth and elders to walk, get out of the house and enjoy the shade and snacks provided by fruit trees.                                                                                                                            

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Ventures (Eagle Butte): $10,000

Tribal Ventures will implement a multi-phase approach to help solve the reservation’s short-term employment issues. During Phase 1, they will reconvene the workforce-development task force of tribal departments and other reservation organizations that addressed employment and economic issues in 2014-2016. In Phase 2, Tribal Ventures will take primary responsibility for facilitating and crafting a solution to the reservation’s temporary staff dilemma using input given by taskforce members. A program will be implemented in Phase 3 to meet the needs of reservation employers. Bi-monthly task force meetings and recruitment of new members who have a stake in short-term hiring issues on the reservation will take place.

Tatanka Funds (Rosebud): $10,000

Tatanka Funds is an emerging Community Development Financial Institute and will address the need for financial literacy on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. A committee will be formed, a survey will be conducted as well as a 3-hour long financial literacy course developed. Unique features of the course will be leases from Trust Land, WIC, LIEAP, commodities, etc. Partners include the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Tribal Housing Authority, Sinte Gleska University, REDCO, Veteran’s Affairs and Adult Corrections.

Western South Dakota

EPICS Program (Pine Ridge): $10,000

Purdue University, the South Dakota Schools of Mines and Technology and Oglala Lakota College have engaged students in a collaborative effort to design and construct a greenhouse at the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota College as well as a cultural education center with the purpose of educating the community on local agriculture and its significance to the Lakota traditions and culture. Purdue is leading the integration of Engineering Project in Community Service (EPICS) style classes at each campus.

Native Youth Leadership Alliance (Pine Ridge): $10,000

A community coach will be provided for Native Youth Leadership Alliance members in South Dakota.  The Oglala Lakota College student organization will be the vehicle used to provide coaching workshops to build communication and coaching skills. An initial training will be held early in 2019 and partners include Oglala Lakota College, Dr. Nora Antone, SD NYLA team members and AIHEC Student Congress. The possibility of an online training model will be investigated to determine feasibility of replication of the process at other SD tribal colleges.

Victims of Violence Intervention Programs, Inc. (Spearfish): $10,000

Victims of Violence Intervention Program, Inc. will implement a 3-step process to combat domestic violence and sexual assault. First, they will conduct a comprehensive needs assessment. Encouraging collaboration will be the second step. Efforts will focus on the community at large, marginalized sub-communities and key stakeholders. Finally, the third step will result in solutions to the problems being formulated and implemented.


Round 2 - 2018


Center for Rural Affairs (Statewide): $9,998

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, South Dakota is ranked 49th nationally in installed solar capacity. Policies to encourage energy efficiency at the state level are lacking. In 2017, the Center for Rural Affairs began inviting groups in South Dakota to form a state table. This table would connect clean energy supporters to our state’s elected officials and advocate for usage and policies. Community conversations will be organized, statewide campaigns will be developed, followed by collaboration on engaged activities. Partners in this effort currently include Dakota Rural Action, Wind on the Wires, The Nature Conservancy and Rosebud Economic Development Corporation.

South Dakota Parent Connection (Statewide): $10,000

The South Dakota Parent Connection (SDPC) plans to study the issue of the increasing number of young children who are presenting behavioral challenges. The South Dakota Parent Connection established the South Dakota Community of Care Coalition to address family and child needs and plan on partnering with the Coalition again to study this problem and initiate remedies. The SDPC met with stakeholders from the Sioux Empire area last fall to discuss this issue. They plan to work cooperatively with State Departments of Education, Health and Developmental Disabilities. South Dakota Parent Connection will facilitate learning and listening sessions in all four regions of the state and with representatives of Native American tribes.

Eastern South Dakota

CREATE Makerspace (Aberdeen) $8,000

CREATE offers technological expertise to support young people, makers and entrepreneurs in developing and launching their own prototype and products, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and a physical space for makers and innovators. They plan to bridge the gap between the interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and the readiness needed for college-level coursework. They have plans to partner with Aberdeen Junior High and High School, private schools and homeschool co-ops and include the neighboring communities of Groton, Warner and Melette. Future key stakeholders include the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club and NSU.

The Lost & Found Association (Sioux Falls): $10,000

Lost & Found uses a public health lens to examine the problem of suicide among college students. Their programs are preventative rather than reactive, hoping to reduce the number of individuals considering suicide by building resilience skills and supporting counseling centers. Through data collection, targeted outreach and educational programming, Lost & Found is re-framing the way communities think about suicide. Lost & Found has created a pilot program to perform a needs assessment for counseling centers and will partner with SDSU’s Counseling Center to complete it. Four hundred students will be surveyed, and twenty-five key stakeholders interviewed. This assessment will define what services students want to see in their counseling center and provide data about the demand for and state of mental health services for South Dakota college students.

Tyndall Development Company, Inc. (Tyndall): $10,000

Tyndall Development Company, Inc. has plans to address the housing shortage in Tyndall, SD by conducting a housing needs study, engaging local contractors and holding public meetings to garner input. The city of Tyndall has partnered with them by removing old buildings and houses. Sixteen acres of land have been purchased on the edge of town by the Tyndall Development Company in partnership with the Lidi Apartments Board of Directors.  Governor’s houses will be included for low income options.

Viborg Development Corporation (Viborg): $10,000

Unlike many South Dakota towns, the City of Viborg is facing a housing shortage with very few dilapidated homes and nearly all the lots in town being full. To better understand the feasibility of a housing development, the Viborg Development Corporation will partner with the city engineer’s firm, host community meetings and conduct surveys. Other partners include Integro Services and Dakota Resources learning network.

Central South Dakota

Hoven Area Community Foundation (Hoven): $10,000

Harvest Hoven’s Potential for the Future is comprised of five committees. Work has begun on the next phase targeting potential new community residents. A promotional committee will be created and trained. The committee will make certain the right message about Hoven is being communicated.                                                                                                                           

Sanford Health Network d/b/a Sanford Chamberlain (Chamberlain): $10,000

Sanford Chamberlain and the Chamberlain Middle School (CMS) are partnering to create and implement solutions needed for students to increase well-being and safety. Sanford and CMS are collaborating on Social Emotional Learning in the Chamberlain Middle School program to help students handle mental health and trauma-related issues. Sanford and CMS will jointly implement the Second Step Middle School Program curriculum. Sanford trainers will directly engage approximately 130 seventh and eighth graders. Efforts will expand beyond the schools into the families of the students. CMS will track student incident reports related to self-harm behaviors, harassment and bullying to measure outcomes.

Tree of Life Ministry (Mission): $10,000

Tree of Life Ministry is combatting the high rate of diabetes among American Indians by incorporating the 3 R program: relationship building, relevant education and rigorous activities.  They plan to expand their existing garden program by adding a greenhouse for winter growing to meet the demands of a projected increase of 300-400 quality nutritional meals a day. The greenhouse is an inter-generational community activity and celebration weaving in Lakota language usage. Tree of Life is partnering with the Todd County School District and Indian Health Services on this project.

Western South Dakota

First Peoples Fund (Kyle): $10,000

First Peoples Fund, Artspace and Colorado State University released a study entitled Building a Creative Economy. The first phase of this project on the Pine Ridge Reservation has been underway through the Rolling Rez Arts, a 32-foot mobile arts classroom and bank. The next phase includes Oglala Lakota Artspace (OLA). Ten gatherings across the reservation will garner input. This information will be used to shape content and scheduling of OLA classes.

Oyate Teca Project (Kyle): $10,000

The Oyate Teca Project is located at Kyle, SD on the Pine Ridge reservation. They are addressing both obesity and malnutrition along with all the health problems accompanying them. They are providing gardening education for families and their children along with healthy eating tips and food preservation. Entrepreneurial education is included encouraging the development of multi-generational business. Oyate Teca Project partners include SD Extension, Indian Health Services, Partnership for Housing, Lakota Funds, Inc. and Oglala Lakota College.

Pine Ridge Girls School (Porcupine): $10,000

Founded in 2016, the Pine Ridge Girls School plans to create an evaluation system to share their success and understand the change they are seeing in their students. This project will track the impact on their students and increase effectiveness of schools and community organizations throughout the Pine Ridge Reservation. This will contribute to a culture of collaboration between schools and community organizations by holding convenings and engaging community members as evaluation findings are shared.

Rural America Initiatives (Rapid City): $10,000

Rural America Initiatives will support an indigenous art market that is held in Rapid City during Thanksgiving weekend. It is not a juried show and no awards are given. The sole purpose is to build economic opportunity for an underserved population. Area artists have become their informal advisory group. Partners include First Peoples Fund, the Heritage Center at Red Cloud, the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce and the Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (Porcupine): $10,000

Thunder Valley’s mission through the Social Enterprise Initiative is to create an inclusive, sustainable economy built on locally rooted and broadly held ownership that improves economic security and well-being in communities on the Pine Ridge Reservation. They will develop a business plan, feasibility study, create ownership structures and catalyze start up funding. They are working with the community and workers already performing services to encourage them to start their own businessesound 2 - 2018


Round 1 - 2018


Alzheimer’s Association SD Chapter (Statewide): $9,000

South Dakota is one of only four states that does not have a State Alzheimer’s/Dementia Disease Plan. In 2017 a grassroots workgroup comprised of state policymakers, health professionals, professional and family caregivers and representatives from like-minded organizations conducted a statewide needs assessment. Findings were compiled into a report which is the second part of their State Plan effort. Funds will provide partial support for the work group to incorporate the top five priorities emerging from that needs assessment into the State Alzheimer’s/Dementia Disease Plan that will be presented to the South Dakota Legislature during the 2019 session.

South Dakota Art Museum (Statewide): $10,000

The South Dakota Art Museum plans to develop a more inclusive curriculum for 4th and 5th grade students required to take South Dakota history. They want to expand the SD standards with curriculum developed by Lakota teachers through the exhibition “Why.” Funds will provide partial support for the exhibit to travel to at least 3 museums in the state (Atka Lakota Museum, Chamberlain, SD Art Museum, Brookings and the Heritage Center, Red Cloud) to feature the exhibition and invite state 4th and 5th grade teachers to attend a one-day planning event held at the museums.

South Dakota Humanities Council (Statewide): $9,864

Democracy is dependent upon its citizens being able to decipher all the news and information that is directed at them. Funds will assist with costs of hosting a two-day training for project scholars and coordinators that will be sent to South Dakota communities as part of “Democracy and the Informed Citizen”. Led by the Oregon Humanities Council, training will be open to faculty from the host institution (SDSU), the host community (Brookings) and North Dakota Humanities Council scholars. Partners in this effort include the South Dakota Newspaper Association and South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Community forums will be held in at least ten South Dakota communities focusing on locally identified issues.

Eastern South Dakota

Boys & Girls Club of Brookings, Inc./Moody County Club (Flandreau) $10,000

Boys & Girls Club of Brookings, Inc./Moody County Club is focusing on career readiness to help fill the growing number of open positions in area businesses. Funds will support a Workforce Development Program for the Flandreau community. The ten-week program will help connect youth ages 14-18 to paid jobs in the Flandreau community from 10-40 hours/week. The focus is learning work skills through on-the-job-training as well as professional development, career exploration and customer service skills.

Greening Vermillion (Vermillion): $9,900

Vermillion has had a curbside recycling program since 2008. They would like to expand that program to low income neighborhoods throughout that city. They will use funds to work with partner organizations (City of Vermillion, Vermillion School District, Vermillion Public Library, Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company and Missouri Valley Recycling Center) to implement curbside recycling along with other environmental projects, create a printed guide and 30 short educational videos to be distributed on social media and posted on relevant websites.

Sanford Health Network d/b/a Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center (Aberdeen): $9,600

Sanford Health wants to help protect students in schools. Uncontrollable bleeding is the leading cause of preventable death from a traumatic injury. Funds will help equip local schools with Stop the Bleed kits and set up stations. Each station contains 8 bleeding control kits (CAT tourniquet, wound packing materials and gloves). Stop the Bleed is a nationwide initiative to encourage bystanders to feel empowered to help in an emergency. One station will be installed per school in Aberdeen public elementary, middle and high schools along with three private schools. Stations will be located next to school’s existing AED for easy accessibility. Sanford staff will provide training for school personnel.

The Compass Center (Sioux Falls): $9,940

The Compass Center operates a 24-hour Rape Crisis Hotline in Sioux Falls, where staff and highly trained volunteers are contacted either directly by victims or by law enforcement or healthcare professionals to assist sexual assault victims in the aftermath of a reported sexual assault. The Compass Center will enter into a partnership with the area hospitality industry to engage bar and restaurant staff in Safe Bars training. Safe Bars is a training to equip front of the house bar and restaurant staff to recognize and respond to sexual harassment among staff and patrons. Five individuals will be trained initially to become a local training team for establishing Safe Bars in South Dakota.

Wagner Area Growth (Wagner): $10,000

The community of Wagner wants to bring both tribal and non-tribal leaders from their community to the table to address the issue of lack of housing. Funds will partially support meeting expenses, continuing education costs and limited travel. Housing is a necessary tool when encouraging an area’s economic growth. It is one of the pillars that the community’s long-term development rests upon.

Central South Dakota

Gregory County Economic Development (Gregory, Burke and Bonesteel): $10,000

The communities of Gregory, Burke and Bonesteel combined financial resources to conduct a housing study in 2017. These three communities wish to partner with Dakota Resources to complete their Empower program. Funds will provide partial support for each community to focus on issues identified in that 2017 housing study.                                                                                                                           

Lower Brule Research Institute (Lower Brule): $10,000

The Lower Brule Research Institute assisted by their Community Advisory Committee is planning for their summer education programs. Science will be incorporated in lessons as they take on local community challenges such as food access. This program will include mentors (SDSU students) and mentees (Lower Brule students) from both on and off the reservation. They will partner with an independent evaluator, TIE (Technology and Innovation in Education) from Rapid City. Grant funds will assist with evaluator costs and help them build a strong and sustainable model.

Western South Dakota

Belle Fourche Development Corporation (Belle Fourche): $10,000

The Belle Fourche Development Corporation, Belle Fourche School District, City of Belle Fourche, Butte County Commissioners, Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce and Center of the Nation Business Association formed Building a Better Belle Fourche. They established 7 goals to work on. Collective input sessions have brought members of the community together to focus their work. The group is shifting to an adaptive planning model. Funds will be used for partial support of an independent contractor to help guide the next steps in this process.

Lakota Funds/SD Native Homeownership Coalition (Kyle): $10,000
By sharing traditional Native practices, Lakota Funds hopes to empower instructors to teach community members how to promote healthy living for themselves, their families and the entire community. Funds will support development of a customized home maintenance curriculum for Native communities that will entail a one-day instructor training course. Materials will be piloted at the Eagle’s Nest community on the Pine Ridge Reservation. That community is in the process of converting to home ownership.

Passages Women’s Transitional Living (Rapid City) $10,000

Passages Women’s Transitional Living is a residential reentry support program providing services to women coming out of incarceration, addiction, abuse and homelessness. Residents can stay up to 18 months and are matched with a transition coach who meets with them weekly. The program’s purpose is to reduce recidivism among women released from prison in Pennington County. Funds will support expansion of relationships with addiction counselors; local counseling services; regional churches; local law enforcement; Love, INC.; Department of Corrections; Community Alternative of the Black Hills; Cornerstone Rescue Mission; The Hope Center; Life Line Connections; Help Line Center; Pennington County Court Services, Woyatan Lutheran Church Reentry Program, and Reentry Task Force to better meet the needs of the women in the Passages program.

2017 CIG Grants

See how SDCF and the Bush Foundation helped nonprofits in 2017.

2017 Grants Awarded