Courtesy of the South Dakota Community Foundation

The South Dakota Community Foundation recently presented a $10,000 Community Innovation Grant to South Dakota State University. Offered in partnership with the Bush Foundation, the CIG program supports efforts to find breakthrough solutions to community challenges across the state. The grant will provide partial support for the Rich Normality Design Collaborative initiative, which focuses on prototype development to enhance early childhood education.

“By bringing together industry, community, faculty and students to explore cutting edge ideas, the Rich Normality Design Collaborative will generate uniquely positioned graduates and marketable products catered to underserved populations in South Dakota,” said Angela McKillip, an assistant professor of interior design at SDSU. “The RNDC believes that students want to put their efforts into problems that matter. Real-world constraints and commitments accelerate their learning, while serving needs within our communities. We are grateful for the vision of the South Dakota Community Foundation and thankful for its support of this collaborative.”

This project will span an entire academic year and focuses on engagement between elders and children. During each phase, refined prototypes are discussed and tested by both elders and children. During phase two, students and faculty engage in product testing, short-run production, marketing development and debut of products. The project brings four generations together (university undergraduate students, university faculty, elders living in assisted living centers and children attending preschool and elementary school) in the development of intergenerational products to be used in education centers and assisted living environments.

“The South Dakota Community Foundation is proud to partner with South Dakota State University as it works to bring multi-age groups together to develop products that can serve in dual roles,” said Ginger Niemann, SDCF senior program officer. “The interaction between generations not only results in product development but also increases awareness about each generation’s contributions and challenges.”

A total of $400,000 will be available to nonprofits in 2019 through the Community Innovation Grant program. The first round opened Jan. 14 and closes Feb. 15 with successful applicants announced at the end of April. Visit to learn more about eligibility guidelines, deadlines for 2019 and application instructions.

About our donors
The SDCF distributed more than $18.8 million in grants in 2018 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit to learn more call at (605) 224-1025.

About the Bush Foundation
The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. Established in 1953 by 3M Executive Archibald Bush and his wife Edyth, the foundation encourages individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area.

COURTESY OF: SDSU Marketing & Communications

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