S.D. Kids Count nominated for honor

S.D. Kids Count nominated for honor The South Dakota Coalition for Children will be honoring 25 nominees statewide at its Champion for Children Luncheon on April 25 in Rapid City.

A local organization has been nominated: South Dakota Kids Count Project in Vermillion.

"We're delighted to announce our Champion for Children Honor Roll for 2003 � individuals and organizations from all over South Dakota � who are working diligently to improve children's lives," said Susan Randall, executive director with the S.D. Coalition for Children.

Nominees are individuals, businesses, or organizations that are dedicated to improving children's lives in South Dakota. Award categories include: individual, organization, business, and journalism.

Nominees will be honored at an awards ceremony in the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn. Four winners will receive an inscribed silver plate and $250 to dedicate to the children's cause of their choice.

Financial support for the awards program this year is provided by Rep. Stan Adelstein and Connie Vucurevich. The Champion for Children Awards were established by the S.D. Coalition for Children in 1996.

The coalition's mission is to shape policies and programs to ensure the well-being of all children in South Dakota. Contact the coalition at www.sdcchildren.org, or call (605) 367-9667 in Sioux Falls.

Under the direction of Carole Cochran at The University of South Dakota Business Research Bureau, the South Dakota Kids Count Project has published its 10th yearly factbook. Kids Count is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the United States.

South Dakota Kids Count publications and Web site resources provide historical and current trend information and are powerful tools for community leaders, policymakers, service providers, parents and others who want to examine local factors that affect the lives of children and families.

Cochran also writes a monthly column for weekly newspapers and speaks at conferences around the state. She is working with the South Dakota Early Care and Education Alliance to develop, distribute and analyze a statewide needs survey for childcare providers.

The nominator wrote, "Carole Cochran and Kids Count have made an incredible difference in our state by making available research and facts needed to improve the lives of children and families in South Dakota."

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