FALL 2019

Building Our Capacity Around Trauma-Informed Practices

Meet Lori Larson

There is a new face welcoming and supporting adult learners at our Career Learning Center of the Black Hills. Lori Larson joined the CLC this fall to mentor adult learners and their families, as well as coordinate a new program funded by a grant from the Bush Foundation to teach employers about the impacts of trauma. Lori is excited about raising employer awareness about this topic and says that focusing on educating employers about the effects of trauma is unique.

“I love that we’re reaching an untapped resource [in reaching out to employers].” 

Lori also loves her work as a mentor to adult learners and their families. Her cozy office with comfortable furniture invites visitors to stay and chat. Lori makes sure to have emergency food items on hand for anyone who is in need and a basket of things like toiletries, small toys, hats, and gloves available as well. She provides customized mentoring to fit the individual’s needs and can help them remove obstacles in life that are preventing them from succeeding in their education. Lori not only connects people with community services, she can also become an advisor and friend.

“Many people I mentor who are struggling with the crisis of poverty don’t have that ‘person’ in their life — someone to talk situations out with and who can offer different ideas and suggestions. I don’t ever judge, and everything we discuss is confidential. My goal is to become their person that they can trust.”


The SD Statewide Family Engagement Center is leading Trauma-Informed Practices (TIPs) Trainings in different locations statewide. The TIPs Trainings are geared for people who work directly with children and young adults on a daily basis. The trainings will provide participants with a better understanding of trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs); strategies to build positive relationships with students and to respond to behaviors associated with dysregulation; and confidence to be a TIPs leader at school, at work, or in the community. The first trainings were held in Rapid City and Sioux Falls in October. Upcoming trainings will be in Pierre and Aberdeen. To register:

“Lights On Afterschool” Family Fun Nights

The BHSSC 21st Century Discovery Center Programs celebrated the 20th annual national Lights On Afterschool in October with Family Fun Nights. Our events were among the 10,000 that happened nationwide for Lights On Afterschool, a project of the Afterschool Alliance that focuses attention on the importance of afterschool programs for kids, families, and communities. BHSSC administers seven afterschool and summer programs that provide both educational and fun activities for kids. To learn more about the programs, visit

View the latest Discovery Center Programs Video!

Harvesting Our Community Garden

It was a wet growing season this year, but we still got a harvest! The community garden, located at the Career Learning Center of the Black Hills, completed its third season. The garden is coordinated by BHSSC staff member, Amy Meyer, and is a partnership project with the Rapid City Police Department, local businesses, BHSSC, and community members. If you would like to participate in the garden by donating materials or gardening a plot yourself, please contact Amy: 605-716-0010

Upcoming Events

Porter the Hoarder Book Signing: Author Sean Covel will be at Books-A-Million in Rapid City on Nov. 16 to sign Porter the Hoarder books. In partnership with the United Way of the Black Hills, the SD Statewide Family Engagement Center is giving thousands of Porter books to first-graders in the region.

Financial Wellness Seminar: The SD Statewide Family Engagement Center is hosting a Financial Wellness Seminar for Rapid City High School juniors, seniors, and family members on Dec. 5 from 11:45am – 1pm in the RCHS Multipurpose Room.

Community Education Classes: There are lots of engaging Community Education classes for you to enjoy. Take a look at all the offerings!

GED® Orientation: Learn about preparing for your GED® at this weekly orientation held Tuesdays at 11:20 AM at the Career Learning Center, 730 E. Watertown St., Rapid City.

Follow Us on Facebook

Learn about the many opportunities for learning in the Black Hills and beyond!
Copyright © 2019 Black Hills Special Services Cooperative, All rights reserved. Black Hills Special Services Cooperative is a public entity, an extension of 12 western South Dakota public school districts. We are an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Black Hills Special Services Cooperative · PO Box 281 · Sturgis, SD 57785-0281 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp