Monthly Archives: May 2011

Summer Hours and Popular Summer Programs Return at “The Main”

Summer has officially arrived for children on the Cheyenne River reservation in north-central South Dakota. The Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte has announced the start of summer hours at its Cokata Wiconi Teen Center and Billy Mills Youth Center, known affectionately as “The Main.” “Beginning Tuesday, May 31, The Main will be open daily from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” said Laure Lachaud, CRYP’s youth programs assistant. “Cokata Wiconi will be open 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Both will remain closed on Sundays.”

CRYP Summer Program

The week of May 31 also marks the return of two immensely popular summer programs for children ages 4-12 at The Main: Summer Literacy and Garden Club. Each summer, CRYP hosts two four-week Summer Literacy sessions. In each session, participating children each select four books to read and write book reports on their chosen titles. Older children work at their own pace, while volunteers assist the younger children. All children who complete the four-wee session may participate in a special event; past rewards have included sleepovers at The Main, dinner-and-a-movie field trips and, weather permitting, overnight camping trips along the Moreau River.

CRYP Summer Program

“We usually try to have at least two sessions of Summer Literacy each year,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “That way, kids who miss the first one can still join in the fun during the second session. We usually start the second session in early to mid-July, so we encourage parents to contact us for dates if they know their children might have to miss this first round.” CRYP created the Summer Literacy program years ago as a way to get children excited about reading and writing outside of school.

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Midnight Basketball Season Opener on Friday, June 3


The Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, has announced that Friday, June 3 will be the season opener for its wildly popular Midnight Basketball summer program. The teens-only event will start at 9 p.m. and conclude at 1 a.m., with Junior Midnight Basketball for younger children taking place at 6-8:30 p.m. The 1996 brainchild of a former long-term volunteer, Midnight Basketball remains one of CRYP’s most successful and enduring programs. Held every Friday night in the Cokata Wiconi Teen Center gymnasium, it’s open to youth ages 13 to 18 and includes music and refreshments.

“This year, the program will involve open gym time, skills tests such as 3-point challenges and Lightning, and both 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 tournaments,” said Tammy Granados, CRYP’s wellness coordinator. “As we do every year, we’ll finish the season with a championship, in which the top three teams and assorted MVPs will win prizes.” Another big component of the Midnight Basketball season is the second annual Junior Midnight Basketball program, which allows younger children who attend CRYP’s "The Main" youth center to join in the fun. Junior Midnight Basketball is held in the Cokata Wiconi gym for two and a half hours prior to the teens-only event, and it’s open to children ages 4 to 12. Half the court is set aside for older kids, while in the other half, staff and volunteers host fun games for younger set. These include tag, parachute and dodgeball.


“The reality is that our local kids don’t really have anywhere to go on a Friday night,” Granados said. “We don’t have malls, movie theaters or even a bowling alley on Cheyenne River, so Midnight Basketball provides a positive outlet for their time and energy. And now Junior Midnight Basketball is doing that for the younger kids as well.” Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director, said Midnight Basketball’s benefits to Cheyenne River’s young people are immeasurable. “The program fosters healthy and sober lifestyles, physical fitness, personal responsibility, teamwork and positive self-esteem,” she explained. “It also helps alleviate bullying, because it brings together all kids — not just the ‘cool kids.’”

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CRYP Invites Teens to Attend Wellstone Action “Native Youth Organizing Training” on June 9-10

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, is inviting young people on the Cheyenne River reservation to attend its day-and-a-half “Native Youth Organizing Training” conference on Thursday and Friday, June 9-10 at CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi Teen Center. The conference is part of Wellstone Action’s Native American Leadership Program, and Wellstone Action’s Peggy Flanagan, Kevin Killer, Maya Torralba and George Goggleye will conduct the training.


“Young adults ages 15 to 21 may attend the Wellstone Action conference, although we will consider accepting 13- and 14-year-olds if they demonstrate appropriate interest and maturity,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Ideally, we’d like to have 30 to 50 young people participate in this year’s training.” Wellstone Action is one of the nation’s leading training centers for progressive leadership, citizen activism and community organizing. As the organization notes on its website, “We’re a national clearinghouse for progressive-movement best practices and training in the skills leaders and organizers need to be more effective on… critical issues.” This is the second annual Wellstone Action training conference at the youth project’s East Lincoln Street campus. Once again, its trainers will introduce grassroots organizing concepts to youth and work hard to increase their audience’s capacity to develop positive messages and build collective action.

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CRYP to Offer Expanded Summer Wellness Programming


This spring, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, announced its plans to roll out expanded wellness programming throughout the year. That 2011 initiative is well on its way; the not-for-profit youth organization has just unveiled an ambitious summer schedule that includes summer sports camps, clinics and special activities for children of all ages.

The CRYP summer season officially will kick off with a “School’s Out!” DJ dance for teens at 8-11 p.m. on Friday, May 20 at the Cokata Wiconi Teen Center. A week later, on May 27-28, the youth project will host an eagerly anticipated Summer Kickoff 5-on-5 Basketball Tournament. Like the dance, the tournament is limited to youth ages 13-18 and will be held in the Cokata Wiconi gymnasium; to qualify, teens needed to participate in CRYP’s Friday 5-on-5 program throughout April and May.

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Nearly 200 Children Complete Bicycle Safety Course at CRYP, Inaugural “Bike Rodeo”


Staff and volunteers at the Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, were thrilled — and surprised — by the community response to their first-ever Bicycle Safety Course and “Bike Rodeo,” held on Thursday, May 5 at the not-for-profit organization’s East Lincoln Street campus. Nearly 200 children in grades K-12 attended the safety course, conducted by Chad Olson from the local police department.

“We were blown away by the numbers,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “We ran out of bicycles! We’d originally planned to give a free bike to each child who completed the course, but we didn’t have enough.”

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Support the Winyan Toka Win Garden Intiative

Youth Project Seeks Funding and In-Kind Donations to Further Develop Garden Program; Supporters Also Can Buy a Tree as Part of Effort to Remove Invasive Species


EAGLE BUTTE, SD (May 9, 2011) — This month, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, is launching its 2011 fundraising campaign to support the 2-acre, naturally grown Winyan Toka Win Garden. Funds and in-kind donations will allow CRYP to further develop the garden program, an initiative that links into The Main Farmer’s Market, the Cokata Wiconi Gift Shop, the children’s and teens’ meal programs and the ever-popular Garden Club.

“We’ve already received significant contributions from AARP and Running Strong for American Indian Youth, for which we’re deeply grateful,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Without question, their support has kick-started our 2011 growing season. Now, we need to take our fundraising to the next level so we can meet our goals this year.”

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“Sweet Tooth for Youth” Promotion at Eagle Butte Dairy Queen Raises $1,500 for CRYP

Sweet Tooth for Youth

Last week, the Dairy Queen in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, held its second annual “Sweet Tooth for Youth” fundraiser to support the Cheyenne River Youth Project®. From May 1 to 7, DQ owners Lonnie and Jackie Heier donated $1 from every malt, shake and Blizzard purchase; their efforts raised $1,500 to support the not-for-profit organization’s youth programming and family services initiatives.

“We sold 1,264 units during the week, and Jackie and I contributed $236 to make it an even $1,500 for CRYP,” reported Lonnie Heier. “While we’d hoped to double last year’s fundraiser with a total of $2,000, we think a 33 percent increase isn’t too shabby! Thank you to everyone for your help in making the event a success.”

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