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Monthly Archives: August 2015

  • Reading Pods 5
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    CRYP Receives $24K Grant from Child Fund International, Prepares to Launch “Just Read!” Project

CRYP Receives $24K Grant from Child Fund International, Prepares to Launch “Just Read!” Project

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® announced today that it has received a $24,000 grant from the Richmond, Virginia-based Child Fund International. These funds will allow the nearly 27-year-old, not-for-profit youth organization to develop and carry out the yearlong “Just Read!” project, a series of youth reading initiatives on South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

According to CRYP staff, “Just Read!” is a critical project for Cheyenne River’s children, who are among the poorest and most marginalized in the country. They have little access to books at home or through public libraries, and they lack opportunities to read outside of school. Far too many cannot read at grade level.

“Many parents here lack awareness of the importance of reading to children,” said Tammy Eagle Hunter, CRYP’s youth programs director. “They also lack confidence, particularly those who have low literacy skills or who are English-language learners themselves, which results in poor educational performance among their children early on and, eventually, a disproportionate drop-out rate.”

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August Partner of the Month: Hopa Mountain

This month, we would like to highlight a very special partner that has joined with us many times as we seek to lift up our community from within. Bozeman, Montana-based Hopa Mountain is a not-for-profit organization that invests in rural and tribal citizen leaders, adults and youth, who are working to improve education, ecological health and economic development within their communities.

Hopa Mountain offers a seven principal leadership training programs throughout the year. They are: Hopa Mountain StoryMakers, Youth Leadership Programs, Indigenous and Latino Scholars of Promise, Native Science Fellowships, Strengthening the Circle – Native Nonprofit Leadership Programs, Citizen Leader Workshops and Nonprofit Leadership Training/Affiliate Programs.

“Through the years, Hopa Mountain has been a steadfast supporter of what we’re doing here on Cheyenne River,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “I graduated from its native nonprofit leadership program, and these days, I help with the leadership workshops. Hopa Mountain has brought me, and CRYP, so far.”

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August Hall of Fame: Nate Widow

Here at CRYP, one of our greatest joys is to see our kids grow up, realize their true potential, and pursue their treasured dreams for the future. This month, we’d like to shine the spotlight on one of those kids.

Nate Widow, 20, started coming to the Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center in 2001, when he was in 8th grade. He says he first started visiting the center to take advantage of open gym, and after that, he was a regular.

“CRYP gave me a place to go that was always safe and always fun,” Nate says. “Plus, I could work on my basketball game and skills in a positive place. Most of my friends also went there, so it was a social place, too. I liked participating because I was always bored, and I didn’t want to go out and drink alcohol or do drugs. I wanted to keep busy, and keep positive.”

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  • 2015 School Supplies Drive 2
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    CRYP Provides School Supplies to 500+ Children on Cheyenne River

CRYP Provides School Supplies to 500+ Children on Cheyenne River

On Wednesday, August 19, CRYP hosted its annual School Supplies Drive distribution in the Cokata Wiconi teen center’s gymnasium. Now, just days later, the nearly 27-year-old, not-for-profit youth project has already provided 88 families and 350 children — from Headstart through high school — with the school supplies they need to start the new school year off right.

What’s more, an additional 50 families have contacted CRYP, indicating that they weren’t able to attend the distribution but will be coming to pick up their supplies in the coming days. That means this year’s School Supplies Drive will serve another 150 to 200 children.

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WANTED: Development Director!

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® is still seeking a development director to join its staff full time. The salaried position will include benefits, with salary dependent on the select candidate’s qualifications, and the position is available immediately.

The nearly 27-year-old, not-for-profit youth organization has experienced dramatic growth in recent years. Founded in 1988, CRYP began as a small, volunteer-run youth center for 4- to 12-year-olds in an old bar building on Eagle Butte’s Main Street; today, the youth project operates the new incarnation of The Main youth center (1999) as well as the Cokata Wiconi teen center (2006), the Winyan Toka Win organic garden (1999), the farm-to-table Keya Cafe (2014), the new Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park (2014), and the highly valued Family Services program (2002) at its East Lincoln Street campus.

“For us to continue pursuing our mission and long-term vision for CRYP as a holistic wellness facility for youth and an authentic gathering place for our community, we urgently need a development director to manage our growth activities,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “And, while we would prefer to have that person on site in Eagle Butte or within reasonable commuting distance from our campus, we are open to hiring an off-site candidate who is willing to travel to CRYP several times a year, provided he or she is a good fit for us.”

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WE NEED YOU: Volunteer Positions Available Immediately

As summer draws to a close, staff members at the Cheyenne River Youth Project® are facing a critical shortage: volunteers. In late August and into the fall months, CRYP needs to staff its Main youth center and Cokata Wiconi teen center, operate the Keya Cafe and Keya Gift Shop, stage the weekly Leading Lady Farmers Market, manage Family Services distributions, and harvest the Winyan Toka Win garden; its staff is simply too small to manage the entire East Lincoln Street campus without volunteer support.

Most people may not be aware that CRYP relies heavily on volunteer support to keep its doors open, its programs running, and its services flowing to the Cheyenne River community.

“In the beginning, it likely was more obvious,” said Tammy Eagle Hunter, CRYP’s youth programs director. “When the youth project began in 1988 in a run-down former bar on Main Street, it was 100-percent volunteer-run. Although we’ve expanded to include The Main, Cokata Wiconi, Family Services, Winyan Toka Win garden, Keya Cafe and Coffeeshop, Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, and full-time staff, we still depend on volunteer support. We simply couldn’t continue with our mission in the community without our volunteers.”

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  • Khalid Garreau
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    CRYP Receives $25K Grant from First Nations Development Institute

CRYP Receives $25K Grant from First Nations Development Institute

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has received a $25,000 Native Agriculture & Food Systems Grant from the Longmont, Colorado-based First Nations Development Institute. These funds will allow the nearly 27-year-old, not-for-profit youth organization to continue developing its Winyan Toka Win (“Leading Lady”) micro farm operation.

CRYP is one of nine tribes and Native American organizations to receive grants through the First Nations Development Institute’s Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative for the 2015-16 funding cycle. NAFSI is designed to help tribes and native communities build sustainable food systems such as community gardens and kitchens, traditional farms and ranches, and other agriculture- and food-related projects that will help eliminate food insecurity and enhance economic development in rural and reservation-based communities.

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