Fresh Choice Cafe

In 2019 I had the privilege of designing the wrap for the Rapid City Area Schools' food truck - the Fresh Choice Cafe (isn't she pretty!) The truck went on to deliver thousands of free lunches for schoolkids around Rapid City. My own sons loved riding their bikes over to what was Lacroix Links to grab a sandwich and milk.

Last year, when schools shut down without much warning, I worked to bag hundreds of sandwiches and put together "stop gap" lunches with Father Cody Maynard and other organizations within the non profit and religious community. I was struck by the ability to come together in focus and intention to care for our kids.

As a small business owner, I've had the opportunity to work alongside my competitors and my clients to achieve innovative successes. I'm collaborative, creative, and invested here in Rapid City. I believe in our schools - and I have my kids enrolled here, eating school meals, learning alongside and from their peers. I don't know everything, but I know how to get my hands dirty and do the work and I will show up for Rapid City families if you give me the chance to serve in an elected role.

Please vote for me on June 8th.

I still read to my teenagers before bed...

I still read aloud to my kids at night. Not all of them. Not every night. But nearly every night, my youngest son, now a teenager, curls up on the couch with our dogs, Kevin and Eva, and I, and listens to a few chapters of whatever seems important to read exactly now.

We've been tearing through a book called "They Both Die At the End" by Adam Silvera, these last three weeks. The book examines the "last day" of two "last friends" in a futuristic world where you are informed 24 hours before your death. The book has caused us both pause, and our family good conversation, as we've discussed how we'd spend one last good day or one last good life.

I don't know that I'd spend my last day campaigning for School Board - but I do know that I'd want to spend it connecting with my neighbors, bringing a smile to a stranger, reveling in the boys I brought into the world and the young men who inhabit my world, now.

Books like this one challenge our every days, remind us how big the world is, and offer frameworks for imagination. School is supposed to do the same. Our kids are better, stronger, smarter, and bolder when they are offered ways to imagine, dream, and connect with the world around them while they achieve academically too.

Anyone who tries to sell you a "school shouldn't be about social issues" message isn't a parent who has cried alongside their child who has lost another friend to suicide. Anyone who tries to tell you that "school is meant to be about reading, math, and history only" is out of touch with the big world our kids already know and (timidly) are learning to love.

I'm a parent who reads aloud to my teenagers at night because I believe my kids are capable of big understandings, important questions, and innovative ways of thinking. I'm a mom who shows up to pick up the trash, cater the teacher's dinner, paint the school walls, sweep the floor, stay late, fundraise, send a thank you card, turn down the spotlight.

There's a whole movement to "control" our kids and their environment - but I prefer to expand it - at every turn. I hope you'll understand the importance of this School Board election, and I'd be honored to have your vote. 0 Comments

Earth Day!

Today I was so lucky to take some time off work and go to Robbinsdale Elementary and South Middle School to participate in an Earth Day event my 7th grader led, as The Lorax.

So grateful for the expert trash-picking-up skills of the Rapid City Police Department and the teachers and parents from Robbinsdale, YMCA of Rapid City KidsStop, and South Middle School - along with the incredible kids - who helped clean up our areas! Beckham brought snacks and lemonade and used biodegradable bags and gloves to help keep our Earth around for those who come behind us.

This was an awesome community gathering that reminds me that we're really better together.

Thank you Audra Franke for the photos!

April 8th Update

When we heard there was a shortage of masks at our middle school, we bought 1000 and donated them this morning!

We are better together! It was fun to stop at Grandview Elementary and drop off another 1000 masks for kids who may show up to school without one. I hadn't been there for a few years (my youngest is now a 7th grader). Walking on that sidewalk and waving to friends with younger kids, doing drop offs, reminded me how much I love my neighborhood.

There is something very special about neighborhood schools with walkability, and I honor the many friends who expressed that importance when we last discussed facility improvements through the bond efforts. I hope for the chance to get to know my neighbors even more - and am often inspired by the simple empathy I learned from Mr. Rogers. Even when my sarcastic wit gets the better of me, I find myself grounded back in the idea that we are truly better together - blessed to live in community - and that investing in our neighbors is almost always worth it.

Thanks for the opportunity to learn and grow alongside you. Imperfectly, working hard, I'm asking for your vote on June 8th.

April 7th - World Health Day

It's World Health Day. We have certainly talked a lot about health this year. I'm using today to reflect on the incredible team of providers, local and from around the world, who have worked tirelessly, researched with intention, and helped bring my parents (both Mom and Dad have Lymphomas!) to remission.

I'm also grateful for the providers I work for and alongside. As a marketing professional, I've had the opportunity to learn about many different industries and organizations and the physicians I create messages for are some of the best humans I know.

I'm thankful today that my parents are vaccinated, that I'm fully vaccinated, and that my family is healthy. I know that access to healthcare is still a challenge in our community, and I'm so grateful for the school nurses and counselors who are often a kid's first or best interactions with caring health professionals. Happy World Health Day!

April 5th Update

Two years ago today I was traversing the country of Sri Lanka on a tuk-tuk (three wheeled motorized cart) with my husband. A defining trip in our lives, we were so honored to immerse in and share this diverse culture with the people we met. A week after we arrived home, the Easter Bombings took place just blocks from where we'd spent our final night.

Most of my life I felt privileged to live in safety. I gave very few thoughts to violence - as my lived experience was one of peace and good-hearted community. My parents raised me to consider others, to extend good will, to honor those around me. Last year, when I heard the need for substitute teachers in the district, with the Covid-19 pandemic, I became ALICE certified. Going through that training opened my eyes to what my kids have experienced in reaction to violence within our society and our schools.

I believe in the peaceful ways of leadership, in non-violent communication, in listening more than I speak (though if you know me, you know I love to talk and tell stories.) I want to to be a part of Rapid City Area Schools because I'm invested there already, as a parent, an aunt, a business owner, and a community member.

In the coming weeks, I'd love to come visit with your family, friends, or organization. My hope is to lean into what Area 1 parents are passionate about - the ways we tend to one another within community and how we raise and educate children who care deeply about their community, too. Please reach out via email to schedule a time to chat.

Front Page: Rapid City Journal

Natalie Slack, a small business owner and mother of three, has filed a petition for Rapid City Area Schools Area 1 School Board. The school board election is June 8.

Slack is a longtime resident of Rapid City who has lived in Area 1 since 2014. She has been involved with local schools since 2009 when her oldest son started kindergarten at South Park Elementary.

Paid for by Slack for School Board     |   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.