Local charity gets $1M grant toward new Native American Head Start facility

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A Rapid City nonprofit will receive a $1 million grant toward the construction of a new Head Start facility for Native American children.

Rural America Initiatives announced the grant Thursday from the Rapid City-based John T. Vucurevich Foundation.

RAI Executive Director Bruce Long Fox called the grant a vote of confidence. “We could not realize this vision without their support, and we are deeply thankful,” Long Fox said in a release.

The grant brings RAI to within about $2 million of the $6.9 million total it needs for the project. Previously announced donations include $2 million from Rapid City government’s Vision Fund, $1.4 million from various individuals and companies, and $250,000 from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Minnesota.

RAI’s existing Head Start and Early Head Start programs are housed in modular structures that are more than 20 years old and are spread among several locations in North Rapid and the Sioux San Hospital campus. The new facility will consolidate those programs, along with RAI’s administrative offices, which are currently downtown.

RAI'ss Deborah Gangloff said that the site of the new facility has been identified, but she declined to speak about it because the site has not yet been formally acquired. RAI hopes to begin construction later this year.

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