Happy Friday! Megan here.

Weather check: Should be a nice warm weekend!

This weekend, I've got a look at the new healthcare simulation center at Southeast Tech – which is basically a real-life hospital for students to learn in. You'll also learn about a new outreach effort from Siouxland Libraries, how scholarships could help the childcare industry and several other Super Simplified Stories.

And now, news:


Get a look at Southeast Tech's new healthcare simulation center

Simplified: Students pursuing healthcare careers at Southeast Technical College now train in essentially a mini hospital. Here's a look at the new Healthcare Simulation Center.

Why it matters

  • Nearly two years after first announcing the project, Southeast Tech is now educating students in a state-of-the-art facility designed to replicate hospital environments from the emergency room to the operating room to the medical laboratory.
  • The simulation center is housed in what was previously the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship – now known as Startup Sioux Falls. That organization moved downtown to a city-owned building in early 2023.
  • The 40,000-square-foot facility cost more than $14 million between the building purchase and renovation, according to Stephen Williamson, director of Southeast Tech's foundation.
  • So far, about 100+ students use the facility daily doing everything from simulated live births to surgeries to responding to emergency room patients.
"Anything you can do to a human, you can do (to mannequins) in one of our simulators," Nursing Instructor Traci Grogan said.

Tell me more about the facility


How the city is looking to build the childcare provider workforce

Simplified: The Sioux Falls City Council in the coming weeks will be looking at a proposal to set aside $450,000 to fund scholarships for people pursuing early childhood education. It's part of an effort to address childcare workforce challenges in the city.

selective focal photo of crayons in yellow box
Photo by Aaron Burden / Unsplash

Why it matters

  • The amount of childcare spots for families isn't keeping up with the demand in Sioux Falls, and part of the problem is that centers face staffing issues. Many centers have the space to take in more kids if they had the staff to care for them.
  • But, for those looking at entering the field, pursuing higher education often doesn't make sense economically because the wages for childcare are too low to offset the costs of a degree.
  • The City Council and Southeast Technical College are teaming up to try to help with a proposed scholarship fund to encourage more people in early childhood to pursue postsecondary education and learn the skills they need to be successful in helping kids.
"They receive training and education in educational philosophy and practices – so how do you properly manage a classroom, how do you work with students," said Benjamin Valdez, vice president of academic affairs for Southeast Tech. "How do you ensure their day is developmentally challenged – that you're not just babysitting."

Tell me more about the city proposal


Super Simplified Stories

  • On-demand busing expands. Via, the city's new transit provider, announced this week that it's expanding SAM On Demand services to be available on weekdays in southeast Sioux Falls. Riders can book a Via SAM On Demand ride through the new “SAM Transit” app (available in the App Store and Google Play) or by calling 605-367-7151.
  • Help clean up the river. The city and Friends of the Big Sioux River are teaming up on Saturday, April 20 for the ninth annual Big Sioux River Greenway Cleanup. You can also celebrate Earth Day that afternoon at Great Bear from 1 to 5 p.m. with hands-on activities including a scavenger hunt, mini planting kids and tote bag decorating.
  • Celebrate Arbor Day. The city is also hosting the Urban Arbor Day Festival from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. That'll include tree planting demonstrations, live music and storytime from Siouxland Libraries.
  • Laundromat libraries. Siouxland Libraries is also piloting a new effort to reach people where they're at – laundromat libraries. It's essentially a box of books at two Sioux Falls laundromats, primarily aimed at kids, for folks to read while they're waiting for laundry. The long-term goal is to expand to have a separate box of books for kids to take home, as well as books in multiple languages, Librarian Aldijana Bonander told Sioux Falls Simplified.
    • There's also a future hope that this outreach library format could work in other types of commonly visited places like doctors offices, etc., Bonander said.
    • Pigeon605 has a deep dive on the new library if you want to learn more.


What I'm falling for this weekend:


More Simplified Stories

Stuff to do: April 10-17
Here’s a look at what’s happening this week.
How Barre3 helped this woman build strength, balance
Mindi Stroschein has been moving her body with Barre3 since the franchise opened in Sioux Falls more than seven years ago. Here’s how the fitness classes have benefitted her and what keeps her coming back.
Meet your new city councilors and school board members - so far
Low turnout and a yet-undecided at-large race were some of the big takeaways from Tuesday’s election results.


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