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The Newsletter of Black Hills Special Services Cooperative
December 2020


Community-based art provides many benefits to communities, yet funding for art initiatives is often cut. The Collaborative Community Art Project sought to tap into the power of art and relationships to support three South Dakota communities and received funding for the initiative from the South Dakota Community Foundation.
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Recent Highlights

Check out a few of the many projects happening in our Five Divisions of Service:

Community, Family, & Special Services

Join Santa at his house in the North Pole for a special holiday storytelling video brought to you by the South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center!
Santa Storytelling
Check out the upcoming Learning Opportunities from the South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center!

The School 101 Quick Guide Trainings return in the new year, kicking off with "Understanding Social Emotional Development of Young Children", January 5. All SD SFEC trainings are free!
The Rapid City 21st Century Discovery Afterschool Programs are partnering with Jessie Taken Alive-Rencountre, a Rapid City elementary school counselor and author, and Kellsie Judge, RCAS Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, for an Intercultural Awareness Celebration.

At the upcoming virtual event Jessie Taken Alive-Rencountre will do a live book reading, discussion, and Q&A on one of her children's books that is centered around cultural acceptance and embracing who we are and our unique talents and skills.
Event Flyer

Developmental Disabilities Division

Congratulations to Sonya Kelii, DSP of the Year! Sonya is an outstanding Direct Support Professional (DSP). Her expertise and compassion for the population served by the BHSSC Developmental Disabilities Division resulted in a promotion to Staff Trainer in May 2020. 

This award is given in memory of Randy Morris, BHSSC's Executive Director from 1980 to 2007. The Developmental Disabilities (DD) program was the first division at BHSSC, and Randy knew the importance of the DSP role in improving the lives of the people we support.

Randy's passion for the field of Developmental Disabilities resulted in his family developing a memorial that awards exemplary DSPs on an annual basis.
A fun and festive time was had when the Special Olympics South Dakota Holiday Caravan stopped by BHSSC in Sturgis! Special Olympics events have been cancelled since the beginning of the pandemic, so this was a welcome chance to reconnect and socialize safely at the drive-through party! 

Education & Workforce Development

The Driver’s Education Program through Career Learning Center of the Black Hills (CLC) faced a major decision last April when the Rapid City Area Schools closed due to COVID-19: Cancel all Driver’s Education courses or quickly adapt and develop a new way to proceed with this high-demand program?

The choice was clear, and CLC staff, along with Driver's Education teachers, began developing a virtual Driver's Education classroom. Jerry Johnson was chosen to be the main teacher for this new format. It was a major undertaking to quickly adapt an entirely in-person program to a virtual format!

Since March, the program has served 390 students using the new format. Spring 2021 classes will serve an additional 150 students. 

Health & Human Services

BHSSC staff volunteered at the Feeding South Dakota distribution center in Pierre. Staff filled boxes with food which will be distributed to seniors across central South Dakota.

Staff from BHSSC's Division of Health and Human Services and Division of Education and Workforce Development were present and filled almost 250 boxes!

TIE Technology & Innovation in Education

39 schools across South Dakota participated in "Hour of Code" activities during Computer Science Education Week earlier this month!

Developed by, Hour of Code provides free one-hour coding tutorials for all ages. In addition, the Black Hills Online Learning Community middle school students had the opportunity to participate in coding activities.

If you want to learn more about coding and computer science opportunities, TIE has a Code At Home page:
Code At Home!
Copyright © 2020 Black Hills Special Services Cooperative, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
2885 Dickson Drive
P.O. Box 218
Sturgis, SD 57785

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Black Hills Special Services Cooperative · PO Box 281 · Sturgis, SD 57785-0281 · USA

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