Monthly Archives: July 2011

Summer Fun with the Cheyenne River Youth Project

Summer is a busy time at the the Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, especially for the 4- to 12-year-olds who spend countless hours at the Billy Mills Youth Center, known affectionately as “The Main.”

From 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, the Cheyenne River reservation’s youngsters can enjoy healthy snacks, a hot evening meal, a fully equipped playground, a variety of arts and crafts in the activity room and special events arranged by CRYP’s long-term volunteers and visiting service groups.

And they enjoy two of The Main’s most popular, long-running summer programs: Summer Literacy and the Garden Club. During Summer Literacy, participating children each select four books to read, and they write book reports on their chosen titles. Those who complete their reports during each four-week session may participate in a special event; past rewards have included sleepovers, dinner-and-a-movie outings and even camping trips.

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CRYP Welcomes Megan Guiliano to Its Full-time Staff

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, is pleased to welcome a new member to its full-time staff. This month, Megan Guiliano joined the 23-year-old, not-for-profit youth organization as its youth program director.

Guiliano will be responsible for program development and implementation at CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi Teen Center and The Main Youth Center; youth and community outreach; grant writing and management; local fundraising; and managing CRYP organizational partnerships. She also will handle orientation, training and evaluations of new staff and volunteers.

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Support Our School Supplies Drive, Serving Hundreds of Children Each Year

CRYP Asks Supporters to Send Contributions No Later Than August 5 for 2011 Drive

School SuppliesEAGLE BUTTE, SD (July 11, 2011) — The start of the new school year may still be a few weeks away, but already the staff and volunteers at the Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, are hard at work on the 2011 School Supplies Drive. The grassroots, not-for-profit youth organization will distribute backpacks filled with school supplies to community schoolchildren from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10 at the Cokata Wiconi Teen Center. “The first day of school may seem light-years away to to the kids, but for us, it’s right around the corner,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “We need time to gather all the donated supplies, purchase additional items with contributed funds, assemble the backpacks and then host the actual distribution. “We also need the rest of August to distribute backpacks to children who aren’t able to make it on the 10th,” she added. “We want to accommodate kids who are out of town with their families, and we have to address the needs of any new children who move into our area prior to the start of school.”

School SuppliesCRYP’s annual School Supplies Drive is a key part of its Family Services Program, created in 2002 to manage the increasing amounts of donated supplies that the youth project provides to local families year-round. To participate in the program, all local families need to do is pay a $30 annual membership fee. The one-time payment covers all family members for the year. “For that $30, a Cheyenne River family can participate in all of our Family Services distributions, from the school supplies, winter clothing and shoes drives to our long-running Christmas Toy Drive,” Garreau explained. “They also can pick up needed household supplies, including baby items, on a regular basis and can receive heating and home-improvement assistance.” Surveys have shown that most member households use Family Services once per quarter, although a sizable group does come in once per month. Within the last two years, most households participated in the organized distributions — including the School Supplies Drive.

School SuppliesThose who have current Family Services memberships will receive invitations for their children to attend the August 10 School Supplies Drive distribution. If a family does not have a membership but is interested in obtaining one, simply call the CRYP administrative office at (605) 964-8200. All children must have invitations to receive their backpacks filled with new school supplies. In 2010, nearly 300 children on the Cheyenne River reservation picked up much-needed supplies at the scheduled August distribution. In the days and weeks to follow, CRYP distributed the remainder of its 600 fully loaded backpacks to those who were unable to attend on that day.

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CRYP Will Host “Cow Patty Bingo” During Eagle Butte Hometown Days

EAGLE BUTTE, SD (July 8, 2011) — In conjunction with this year’s Eagle Butte Hometown Days celebration, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® will be hosting a game of Cow Patty Bingo. The game is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday, July 22 in the Cokata Wiconi Teen Center parking lot on East Lincoln Street.

We’ll be selling slots at $5 apiece, or five slots for $20, until we’re sold out,” said Whitney Clapp, CRYP’s youth programs assistant. “The more slots you purchase, the better your chances are! “For those who don’t know what Cow Patty Bingo is,” she added, “you win if you own the lucky slot that a cow drops a ‘patty’ on!”

The winner will take home 40 percent of the proceeds, with the remainder going to support CRYP’s ongoing programming and services. For those interested in purchasing slots, contact Whitney at 605-964-8200.

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Expanded Wellness Programs Are Drawing Enthusiastic Crowds this Summer

Just a few years ago, wellness programming at the Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, was somewhat limited. While teenage youth could enjoy Midnight Basketball on Friday nights at the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Upper Elementary School, the lack of a dedicated teen facility and limited space at the existing youth center hampered efforts to develop further programming. But all that has changed. In August 2006, CRYP formally dedicated its new Cokata Wiconi Teen Center, sister facility to the beloved “Main” and home to a full-size gymnasium and fitness center. This summer, wellness programming has hit its stride with sports camps, walking and running clubs, and even yoga.

Wellness ProgramsMidnight Basketball remains a consistent draw for Cheyenne River’s teens, who turn out in droves every Friday night for the 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. event at Cokata Wiconi.
“This is a wildly popular summer program, and it continues to attract more and more kids through the summer months,” said Tammy Granados, CRYP’s wellness coordinator. “Interest has been so high, we’re working on hosting several special events throughout the summer. Midnight Basketball is evolving — we want to offer a more expanded program, one with even more depth.” Special Midnight Basketball events will include an Intramural Night, Skills Night and a 3-on-3 Challenge. The 3-on-3 Challenge has already been scheduled for Friday, July 8.

Wellness ProgramsMidnight Basketball coordinators have not, however, forgotten about the younger children. This summer, CRYP is again hosting Junior Midnight Basketball for kids ages 4 to 12 at 6-8:30 p.m. on Fridays. “The junior program gives the younger kids gym time so they can play games, learn new sports and participate in the big kids’ Midnight Basketball programming,” Granados explained.

“That’s really important, because the little kids really look up to the older ones. And we want them to easily make the transition to Cokata Wiconi when they become too old for The Main.” Basketball has been a hot component of CRYP’s wellness programming this summer. The not-for-profit youth organization has already hosted two basketball camps in late May and early June; due to popular demand, a third Basketball Camp is now scheduled for July 11-July 14. “Like the earlier camps, it will be divided into age groups,” Granados said. “Ages 8-12 may participate at 2-4 p.m., while ages 13-18 may participate at 5-8 p.m.” Participants can expect to participate in drills and conditioning exercises as well as learn basketball skills and important basic fundamentals. They’’ll also play scrimmage games, concluding with tournament on the camp’s final day.

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173 Community Members Attend CRYP’s Second Annual “Family Day” Festivities

Staff and volunteers at the Cheyenne River Youth Project® in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, are thrilled to report that 173 members of the Cheyenne River community attended the not-for-profit youth organization’s second annual “Family Day” festivities, held on Saturday, June 25. “Not only did we see children who attend our Cokata Wiconi Teen Center and The Main Youth Center with their parents, we also saw grandparents, aunts and uncles,” commented Tammy Granados, CRYP’s wellness coordinator. “When we created this event last year, our goal was to encourage multigenerational bonding as well as to invite community members to take part in activities here. Given the turnout and the positive responses we’ve received, it seems we’re moving in the right direction.”

Family DayFamily Day was open free to the public. Throughout the day, participants of all ages enjoyed potato-sack races, a basketball shoot-out, bobbing for apples, water-balloon tosses, tug-o-war and hula-hoop contests. Children who took part in the activities received tickets, which were then traded in for prizes. “The kids were able to try out each of the different activity stations, which were arranged in the Cokata Wiconi gymnasium and outside on the teen center’s patio,” Granados explained. “They also could get their faces painted, try temporary tattoos, listen to music, watch television and visit with other kids and their families.” Phaleena LaSalle perhaps summed it up best when she said, “This is a nice thing to do for the family!”

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