Sioux Falls, S.D. (KELO AM) - As the wife of South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, First Lady Linda Daugaard stays very busy with her own programs that promote the health and wellbeing of the youth of South Dakota. She is deeply involved with the FosterOne Campaign, The South Dakota Reading Tour and Reducing Infant Mortality.
“In July, we kicked off the FosterOne Campaign at the Downtown Rotary Club in Sioux Falls,” said Daugaard. “Since then, I have been to over 20 groups and organizations telling them of the need for qualified foster families in South Dakota. We also discussed that if you can’t be a foster family, there are other ways to help.”
Daugaard said that it takes a special person to be foster parents with a care and commitment to look after the needs of the child and be attentive their needs while their parents work on their challenges. The goal is to take them out of temporary placement and get them back to their families. People interested in foster care should go to our website: ‘fosteronesd.org’ and look at the information there and fill out a commit to know card, then someone from the Department of Social Services will contact them and provide more information.
As a former librarian, The First Lady is doing everything she can to encourage kids to read.
“I started with third, fourth and fifth graders all around the state and I visited 222 of the 460 elementary schools talking to them about how important it is to become a lifelong reader,” said Daugaard. “We are going to have a book walk like the one in Sioux Falls where the kids walked from the Main Branch Library to Falls Park, stopping to read along the way. On the way back, they read a different book, and we are going to do that around Capital Lake on Monday night.”
Daugaard said that children are reading a wide variety of books today. The third graders like the Boxcar Children books, Goosebumps and Harry Potter are still popular too. Harry Potter books got reluctant readers into reading books and there are more similar books coming out that makes kids want to read.
Infant Mortality is a serious issue that the First Lady has become involved with.
“We launched a big campaign last year promoting Cribs for Kids which provides every baby that leaves the hospital a safe place to sleep,” said Daugaard. “This has been a great program and South Dakota Medical Auxiliary partnered with us promoting the purchase of cribs which have a sheet, a sleep sack and a pacifier for the baby.”
Daugaard said that they hope every baby has a safe place to sleep. She pointed out that babies need to sleep on their back on a hard surface and the room should be between 68 to 72 degrees. The baby shouldn’t be exposed to smoke and there shouldn’t be bumpers, blankets, pads or stuffed animals in the cribs. Over 2,100 cribs have been distributed throughout South Dakota and they can be gotten at shelters, hospitals and at the WIC Offices.
When asked to comment on the Governor’s sky dive, the First Lady said, “I did it right out of college.” She said her thoughts were with him that he could get that incredible feeling of floating through the air and looking around. Bottom line, she said was the money raised for the Children’s Miracle Network raised as a result of the jump.
First Lady Linda Daugaard was a guest on the Greg Belfrage Show September 13, 2013.