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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Dairy Queen Event a Success for CRYP Fundraising

Sweet toof

In its 5th annual Sweet Tooth for Youth event, the Cheyenne River Youth Project partnered with Dairy Queen to raise nearly $1,700 for the organization’s programs and services to benefit CRST youth. Local Dairy Queen owner Lonnie Heier committed a donation of $1 from the sale of every Blizzard, shake/malt and large soda toward CRYP, one of the largest Native Youth programs in the country.

Also during that week, CRYP hosted a family night at DQ which included activities for the kids and games for the whole family. Additionally, there were door prizes and giveaways of DQ merchandise, while CRYP staff was on hand to register people for family memberships and provide information about the organization’s many programs and services.

“We are so proud of our ongoing partnership with Dairy Queen owner Lonnie Heier, who has been fantastic supporter of CRYP and in helping us provide a quality of life for our kids,” says Julie Garreau, founder and executive director of CRYP. “We thank him and each and every supporter who came and participated in this event, which will provide needed funding for our programs.”

“Dairy Queen and The Main both produce smiling children,” says Dairy Queen owner Lonnie Heier. “There’s nothing that makes me happier than to see a kid smiling while eating their Blizzard Treat or a kid making a shot at the Main gym. Dairy Queen and CRYP are both natural partners because they both create smiling faces and what could be better than that?”

For more information about CRYP and our programs, please follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lakotayouth or at www.twitter.com/lakotayouth for updates and information.

Founded in 1988, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities, ensuring strong, self-sufficient families and communities. Today, CRYP provides a wide variety of programs and services to the community, covering nearly 3 million acres in  South Dakota. To learn more about CRYP, visit www.lakotayouth.org.

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CRYP to Kick-Off Midnight Basketball Tourney and Summer Wellness Programs

As a part of its mission to promote Native kids’ health and fitness, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is launching its annual Midnight Basketball and Summer Wellness Programs beginning Friday, May 30, 2014. In its 18th year, the drug- and alcohol-free events will be open to teens ages 13-18 through the summer in an environment that offers fitness, fun and friendship for Cheyenne River youth to help combat childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes that is rampant in many Native communities.

Midnight Basketball begins Friday, May 30th with open-run basketball tournaments, refreshments, prizes, and peer interaction in a positive environment. It runs from 9:00 pm until 1:00 am. Teens are required to sign in and sign out, not able to return once they leave. They are given a 15-minute grace period to return home after they leave our facilities.

Additionally, the Summer Wellness Program will also begin the first week of June with a Summer Sports Clinic. Basketball camp begins the first week of June, offering two sessions to two different groups, ages 8-12 and 13-18. A T-ball/Softball Camp starts the following week; a Rubberball Ruckus Camp the third week; and a Bicycling Club kicking off the last week of June. Regular Fitness Challenges and Fitness Room Activities will continue throughout June. Along with the Gym being open on a daily basis throughout the week.

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Tammy Eagle Hunter, youth programs coordinator for CRYP, says the event provides a safe and healthy environment for kids in the Cheyenne River community to spend their Friday evenings during the summer.

“Midnight Basketball was created in 1996 as the brainchild of a former volunteer who recognized the tribal curfew of 10:00 p.m.,” says Eagle Hunter. “It was created as a safe alternative to keep teenagers indoors and respectful of the 10:00 curfew and has since become a staple of local teenage culture.”

Officials say that Midnight Basketball draws nearly 250 teens every Friday night and that juvenile crime rates decrease in the community. Sponsors of the events include the Notah Begay Foundation (NB3), N7, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe TECA program and DARE, who partner with CRYP to make activities like these possible.  CRYP also welcomes any parents and community members to come volunteer as referee’s and to help supervise youth.

“Midnight basketball is fun,” says CRYP youth Trey Bad Warrior. “It gives kids a chance to play a sport they really love for a good 4-5 hours!”

“Its really the only thing to do in town,” agrees Wyatt Jewett. “I like it because the teen center is open longer, lots of people come and since ball is life, it’s just fun to play till after midnight.”

Participants will also enjoy a Midnight Breakfast provided by the CRYP before they return home that evening. Midnight Basketball will be held every Friday throughout the summer months.

For more info, parents, guardians and teens can contact Tammy Eagle Hunter at 605-964-8200 to answer any questions they may have or they are welcome to stop in and visit with a staff member about the event. Additionally, follow us at https://www.facebook.com/lakotayouth and www.twitter.com/lakotayouth for updates and details.

Founded in 1988, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities, ensuring strong, self-sufficient families and communities. Today, CRYP provides a wide variety of programs and services to the community, covering nearly 3 million acres in  South Dakota. To learn more about CRYP, visit www.lakotayouth.org.

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CRYP to Host Computer Programming Boot Camp for Youth

As even the most remote parts of the world are becoming more connected through the Internet, the Cheyenne River Youth Project will be giving its youth an opportunity to learn programming at its three-day Game Programming Boot Camp next week.

The three-day JavaScript boot camp will run from June 2-4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be taught by CRYP’s own technology coordinator, Jonathan Stuart-Moore.

Stuart-Moore, who holds a degree in computer science from Middlebury College in Vermont, says that computer programming should be open to everyone, particularly kids on Indian reservations where one day they may be able to write programs that could have benefits for their own communities.

“To truly leverage the power of a computer, you have to learn a language that a computer understands,” says Stuart Moore. “You might build the next great game or app; or you might even become a scientist or engineer and work in the tech industry. The great thing about computer programming is that as long as you have an Internet connection, you can write code wherever you are and share it with the global community.”

Students will use CRYP’s computer lab to learn JavaScript, which is used in the vast majority of applications around the world and also the platform upon which Facebook was originally built. Participants will write, edit and test their applications over the three-day camp, while also learning about the many resources available to them to continue their programming once the course has concluded.

“Programming is really fun and one of the best ways to get started is by writing games,” says Stuart-Moore. “Games are easy to understand, exciting to write and great for sharing with friends and family. Many people start by programming games and move on to more complex applications later.”

The class will start Monday, June 2, and conclude on Wednesday, June 4. Hours will be 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. with a one-hour lunch and two breaks each day.

For more information on the class, please contact Tammy Eagle Hunter at 605-964-8200 or a tammy.cryp@gmail.com. Also, please follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lakotayouth for updates and information.

Founded in 1988, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities, ensuring strong, self-sufficient families and communities. Today, CRYP provides a wide variety of programs and services to the community, covering nearly 3 million acres in  South Dakota. To learn more about CRYP, visit www.lakotayouth.org.

 

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Ride for Reading Event Donates Hundreds of Books to CRYP Youth

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The Cheyenne River Youth Project received hundreds of donated books from the Ride For Reading event held on, Saturday, May 10th. About half a dozen bicyclists rode nearly 10 miles from Sturgis to Bear Butte, South Dakota carrying books in their backpacks and bike baskets to donate to CRYP’s library, which has become a center for book clubs and reading among community youth.

Ride for Reading is a Nashville, Tennessee-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting books and healthy lifestyles to low income children. The event was organized in collaboration with Lily Mendoza y Ducheneaux, who is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and owner of the Rapid City bookstore, Word Carrier Trading Post.  Ms. Mendoza y Ducheneaux is also a member of CRYP’s advisory board.

In total, CRYP received nearly 600 books on nearly every subject for its libraries, which are still in the process of building their inventories to include books and materials for children and teens. Promoting reading and the love of books is one of CRYP’s key goals as a youth-centered organization.

“The books will be much appreciated by the children of Cheyenne River and will be put to good use here at CRYP,” says Tammy Eagle Hunter, youth programs coordinator for CRYP. “These books will help us strengthen activities such as Book Club and reading time at ‘The Main.’ We are thankful to all of the local cyclists who carried books from Sturgis to Bear Butte. All those in attendance that day remarked on how much they enjoyed the event – especially the children.”

CRYP staffers Pamela Stolz and Ryan Devlin accompanied kids from CRYP to the event in Bear Butte, where they enjoyed hiking and lunch along with the cyclists who rode in for the event.

“The kids loved the hike so much we had to do it twice!” says Stolz, who is the organization’s VISTA volunteer. “And the kids poured over the books as the cyclists handed them off. Six-year-old Xayden especially enjoyed the 3D book about sharks, while his older brother, Xavien, grabbed one of the Captain Underpants books to read on the ride home. At the end of the day, as we hiked down Bear Butte, Caseylynn stopped in her tracks looked up at me and said, ‘this is the best day ever!’”

Founded in 1988, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities, ensuring strong, self-sufficient families and communities. Today, CRYP provides a wide variety of programs and services to the community, covering nearly 3 million acres in South Dakota.

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CRYP Offers Art Classes for New Outdoor Art Park

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The Cheyenne River Youth Project is proud to announce that they will soon open a new outdoor art park on its campus. To launch the new space, CRYP hosted the Art of Creative Lettering classes with renowned graffiti artist Peyton Russell. The classes the week of May 12th to the 16th from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The week concluded with an art show on Saturday, May 17th at the new park. The graffiti wall and outdoor art space which will be open to teens to create works of their own. Art supplies for the classes will be provided by CRYP.

“We think the community could benefit from setting up a space for kids to express themselves with art,” says Julie Garreau, executive director of CRYP. “Every community needs an open space to for the kids to reflect who they are and the world around them. We hope that these classes will give them the confidence and inspiration to explore their artistic freedom.”

“Graffiti is an art form, just like any other,” says Tammy Eagle Hunter, who is youth programs director for CRYP and also an artist herself. “It can be a really positive outlet for kids to be able to get outside and paint, make mistakes and try new things and learn that art is art – it doesn’t have to be in a frame to call it art.”

“[This class] is focused on the advancement and development of Graffiti Art and its esthetic value as an educational program,” Peyton wrote on his website.  “This program seeks out support by building partnerships with artists, teachers, business owners, city officials, arts organizations, community leaders, parents, and students to address and discuss culture, opportunity, possibility and the process of graffiti writing for teaching its artistic principles.”

For more information about Peyton Russell and his work, please visit http://houseofdaskarone.com/.

Founded in 1988, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities, ensuring strong, self-­sufficientfamilies and communities. Today, CRYP provides a wide variety of programs and services to the community, covering nearly 3 million acres in South Dakota. To learn more about CRYP, visit www.lakotayouth.org.

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Cheyenne River Youth Project Launches Push for Endowment Funding

The Cheyenne River Youth Project has announced its second quarter push to fund its endowment, which will go toward permanent sustainability for the organization’s programs that serve over 1,500 youth and 350 member families across the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation every year.

As one of the poorest communities in the nation, CRST’s children are faced with multiple challenges at home and on the streets, including drug and alcohol abuse, violence and hunger.  To help combat these issues, tribal members took over a run-down bar in 1988 and converted it to a safe place for our children to go after school to have a snack, get help with their homework, make art projects or simply play with their friends.

In just a short time, this program became a vital part of our community and one of the largest Native youth programs in the country.  As the organization continued to grow, the 30,000-sq. ft. Cheyenne River Youth Project campus was developed with the support of our friends and partners.

“Both facilities were constructed with the idea that our children would have a place to call their own,”  says Julie Garreau, founder and executive director of CRYP. “As a homegrown, grassroots Native organization, we designed the organization specifically to address our own needs and to serve our youth in a way that is respectful of their Lakota culture and traditions as a tribe. But we also have a lot of fun along the way.”

Today, non-profit organization continues to be that ‘safe haven’ for Lakota children and teens and the Cheyenne River Youth Project delivers programs to youth in the areas of health, wellness, arts, culture, leadership, education, literacy and so much more.

“We could not have made it to where we are today without the support of our volunteers and donors,” says Garreau. “They have put in literally thousands of hours and made contributions of every size that have made CRYP so special and unique, whether it’s our Christmas Toy Drive, Passion for Fashion, the MIdnight Basketball Tournament or even our garden. Every single thing we do is founded on the passion we have for making a better life for our youth.”

Because the Cheyenne River Youth Project has been such a critical youth and family program for those on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, an Endowment Fund was established in 2009 to help sustain the organization for many more years. To date, nearly $25,000 has been contributed to the Cheyenne River Youth Project Endowment. In celebration of our 25th anniversary, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is seeking to raise another $25,000 to match our current endowment.

Contributions for the endowment can be sent to Friends of the Cheyenne River Youth Project, P.O. Box 410, Eagle Butte, South Dakota 57625. (Checks should be made out to Friends of the Cheyenne River Youth Project.)

Alternatively, donors can also visit www.crowdrise.com/lakotayouth and make a contribution with their Visa or Mastercard. Funds will be accepted by the South Dakota Community Foundation and devoted exclusively to the programs of the Cheyenne River Youth Project.

Last year, over 1,500 youth and 350 families participated in programs and services in the Main Youth Center (serving kids age 4-12), the Cokata Wiconi Teen Center (13-18 teens), the Family Services Program and the Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) Garden.

As our friend, we welcome you to contribute to the continued success of CRYP and the many hundreds of children and families who rely on our programs and services each year.

For more information on the endowment, please contact Julie Garreau at julie.cryp@gmail.com, or follow us on Facebook, https://facebook.com/lakotayouth or at www.lakotayouth.org.

 

Founded in 1988, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities, ensuring strong, self-sufficient families and communities. Today, CRYP provides a wide variety of programs and services to the community, covering nearly 3 million acres in South Dakota.

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The Cheyenne River Youth Project Launches Wowapi Book Club for Teens

The Cheyenne River Youth Project announced the launch of the Olakholkichiyapi Wowapi Book Club in April for its teen members, which will be held every Wednesday and Thursday evening from April through July 2014. The meetings will be held from 6-7 p.m. in the library in the Cokata Wiconi Teen Center.

“Books allow kids to step outside their world and become pirates, astronauts, writers and thinkers,” says Julie Garreau, CRYP executive director. “Books also enables them to travel and dream about the possibilities of what they may become or where they may want to go in life. CRYP is about presenting options and opportunities and our book club is the perfect place for our kids to explore the world through these books.”

Valerie Collins, the group’s coordinator, was an avid reader growing up in the Cheyenne River community and says the name Wowapi means “book,” in the Lakota language. She hopes to inspire and engage the club members not only to read, but to embrace the discussion and comraderie that comes with sharing their thoughts on books.

“Our motto is ‘What happens in book club, stays in book club,’” says Collins. “Not only are we reading some intense titles, but at the meeting I am hoping that the group can bond on a different level. I want this to be a special place that the kids can call their second home, a place where they trust everyone and feel comfortable with each other.”

Collins says that at the end of each month, Wowapi members will read a different book, followed by a pizza and movie party based off the material they read that month. The selections for the next five months are as follows.

April: The Business of Fancydancing, by Spokane author Sherman Alexie. This is his first official novel compiled of over 40 short stories and poems about the honest truth of what living as an Indian in today’s world means: The happiness, the heartache, the fun, the sadness, the family, the land and everything in between. At the end of the month we will watch “Dance Me Outside.”

May: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Greene. This title follows the main character of Hazel Grace, who is dying of cancer. While she has accepted her fate, she does whatever her parents ask of her because she knows that “the only thing worse that a 16-year-old who dies from cancer is the parents who loses their 16 year old to cancer.”  We watch her journey from a settled acceptance of despair to a renewed sense of hope and love in family and friends.  The movie for this book will be very special. We will be taking a trip to Pierre, S.D., to see the film adaptation of this novel, which will be released on June 6th this summer.

June: Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff. This title is probably our most mature-themed novel, even though it is classified as a young adult novel. It chronicles the life of Nic Sheff from a “good boy,” a promising young writer, family-oriented guy… to a boy living off the streets, prostituting himself, robbing, all just to get a five minute high on meth. He eventually turns it all around, after many attempts at rehab. Two years into sobriety he writes this novel. He isn’t preachy, he isn’t self serving. He just tells his tale.Our current epidemic of meth use on our reservation was the compelling factor in choosing this title. We wanted to show there is hope, there can be change, and it starts within yourself. The movie pick for this title is a documentary narrated by Val Kilmer entitled “American Meth.” It follows a close-knit family who is ripped apart by this drug, and how they endure while their loved ones find the path to wellness again.

July’s selection will be a surprise for members, says Collins, with a contest to guess the book among members.

Additionally, an email account will be necessary for all members to facilitate communication in the event a meeting is cancelled. Staff will help those who do not have an email account to obtain one at the teen center.

Finally, Book Club members who come to 90 percent of the meetings, finish their worksheets and finish their books by August 1st will receive either a Tablet or Kindle Fire. There are 10 slots to fill, so hurry and sign up! One more note: Because some of the titles are mature content, parental permission must be granted. On our first meeting, set for Thursday April 10th, permission slips will be passed out and as soon as they are brought back in, the teens will receive their first book.

For more info, parents, guardians and teens can contact Valerie Collins at 605-964-8200 to answer any questions they may have or they are welcome to stop in and visit with a staff member about the club, or follow us at https://www.facebook.com/lakotayouth and www.twitter.com/lakotayouth for updates and details.

Founded in 1988, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities, ensuring strong, self-sufficient families and communities. Today, CRYP provides a wide variety of programs and services to the community, covering nearly 3 million acres in  South Dakota. To learn more about CRYP, visit www.lakotayouth.org.

 

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South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson Visits the Cheyenne River Youth Project

The Cheyenne River Youth Project welcomed Senator Tim Johnson on April 24th for a tour of its youth organization – which started in an abandoned bar 25 years ago – and has grown into a 30,000 sq. ft. facility that today serves hundreds of families throughout the reservation.

“Senator Johnson has been a champion for the youth of the Cheyenne River community,” says Julie Garreau, CRYP’s founder and executive director. “He was instrumental in assisting CRYP in obtaining congressional funding to support the construction of the teen center. He has always supported our efforts in providing services and activities to our kids and we deeply appreciate all of his efforts on behalf of our organization over the years.”

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The tour was followed by luncheon at the new Keya Cafe & Coffee Shop, which was launched by CRYP in January. The cafe uses locally-sourced produce from CRYP’s own Winyan Toka Win (“Leading Lady”) garden. The organic, non-GMO garden is managed by youth interns from the Cheyenne River community during the growing season and Farmer’s Market..

The visit and luncheon was also attended by Elsie Meeks, the State Director of USDA Development for the State of South Dakota, along with her colleagues, Clark Guthmiller, Christine Sorenson, and other community members.

“Elsie, Clark and Christine have also been very supportive of our efforts over the years in helping us with capacity-building and growing our organization,” says Garreau. “They have been community partners in improving the quality of life for tribes in South Dakota.”

Garreau says that Senator Johnson’s visit had a special poignancy because it is perhaps his last visit to CRYP before he retires from his senate seat. He is also a member of the organization’s Advisory Council.

“He’s not just ‘Senator Johnson,’” says Garreau. “He is real and he’s down to earth. He’s been a great friend to us and we want him to know how much we appreciate his long-time dedication to the Cheyenne River Youth Project. He will always be welcome here.”

Founded in 1988, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities, ensuring strong, self-sufficient families and communities. Today, CRYP provides a wide variety of programs and services to the community, covering nearly 3 million acres in  South Dakota. To learn more about CRYP, visit www.lakotayouth.org.

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CRYP Seeks Submissions for Volunteer-Inspired Cookbook

The Cheyenne River Youth Project is celebrating National Volunteer Month by seeking recipes and stories for the organization’s upcoming volunteer-inspired cookbook project, which will be published this coming Summer. The organization is specifically seeking submissions from past and current volunteers, staff, board members, community members, as well as anyone who has has been involved with the organization to share their favorite recipes along with anecdotes about their connection to the CRYP family.

Food and the sharing of a meal with volunteers, community members and friends from around the world has been a large part of the organization’s identity since its inception. As a part of its 25th anniversary year activities, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is launching the cookbook project in appreciation of the diverse range of people who have been instrumental in building and sustaining the organization for nearly three decades. Volunteers have been a critical part of CRYP since it began in an old bar on Main Street in 1988.

“In the beginning, we were an all-volunteer organization,” remembers Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “And while it’s true we’ve come a long way, growing from the ‘Old Main’ to a 26,000-square-foot teen center and 5,000-foot youth center, we still couldn’t provide the programming and services our kids and families need if it weren’t for our volunteers, many of whom come from overseas and take time away from their own families to help our community.”

CRYP understands the value of sharing a meal as a window to other cultures, as so many volunteers have brought their own cuisines to the table over the years.

“Food brings people together; we’ve always known that here,” says Garreau. “We see it through our community dinners and through the meals served to the youth each night. We see this cookbook as a way to reconnect with anyone and everyone who has been a part of the organization, to show the scope of its reach but also to demonstrate that everyone who has been a part of the organization is still a part of the CRYP Family.”

CRYP is requesting recipes, whether it is a favorite dish, something that represents one’s culture, or evokes a memory of your time at The Cheyenne River Youth Project, along with writing or an image that symbolizes its importance to you, such as a story, a poem, or a family photo. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the spring and the book will be published mid-summer.

Recipes and inquiries should be sent to Pamela Stolz at vista.cryp@gmail.com or contact her at 964-8200. Please include your full name, where you are from, and your relationship to CRYP.

Founded in 1988, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities, ensuring strong, self-sufficient families and communities. Today, CRYP provides a wide variety of programs and services to the community, covering nearly 3 million acres in  South Dakota. To learn more about CRYP, visit www.lakotayouth.org.

 

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