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Monthly Archives: January 2016

CRYP Remains Committed to Youth Wellness in 2016

The classical Greek philosopher Plato once wrote, “The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” The staff at the Cheyenne River Youth Project® understands this concept better than most; to make a real, lasting difference on South Dakota’s remote Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, the 27-year-old, not-for-profit youth organization is dedicated to fostering holistic wellness among youth.

That means CRYP does more than provide a safe, positive place to play, study and socialize with friends. It also prepares nutritious snacks and meals using foods grown organically in CRYP’s 2-acre Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) garden. It encourages healthy self-expression through teen arts internships and the free, public Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park. It teaches job and life skills through a variety of additional internships, workshops and classes. And, it devotes a large percentage of its time and energy to physical fitness.

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Winter Intern Provides Valuable Workshops for 75 Teens

This month, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® hosted a two-week series of teen workshops at its Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center. Seventy-five teens attended the workshops, which focused on preparing for college, valuable job and life skills, positive relationships and healthy sexuality, and the 30 teens who participated at least one session each week were able to attend a special participants-only Midnight Basketball event at Cokata Wiconi on Friday, January 22.

At the helm of the Winter Workshop Series was CRYP’s winter intern, Emilie Carr. A third-year history major at Ohio’s Oberlin College, Carr works as a tutor leader with the Ninde Scholars Program and is co-chair of Boys and Girls in Motion, a local after-school program. She’s dedicated to creating educational change, improving college access for all, and fighting the devastating school-to-prison pipeline.

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    January Partners of the Month: Our 2015 Christmas Toy Drive Champions

January Partners of the Month: Our 2015 Christmas Toy Drive Champions

This month, we’d like to express our deepest gratitude to a very special group of CRYP supporters: the champions of the 2015 Christmas Toy Drive. With their help, we smashed our goal of serving 1,500 children. This past December, CRYP and its partners brought Santa Claus to more than 1,600 children across the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

Please read on, and click on the individual links to learn more about these worthy organizations, each of which has demonstrated the true meaning of Christmas with its generosity, friendship, and love.

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CRYP Launches Dress Drive for 2016 Passion for Fashion

Although it’s hard to imagine in the depths of winter, spring is around the corner. And that means teenagers across the country are already thinking of that one special occasion that has become an American rite of passage. The prom.

Yet on South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, excitement for prom season can be tempered by hard realities. Here, most families cannot spare the funds for formal wear and accessories, nor can they manage the three- to five-hour round-trip drive for a shopping trip in Pierre or Rapid City. That’s why the Cheyenne River Youth Project® launched Passion for Fashion in 2001.

“We want to ensure that every teenage girl can make her prom dreams come true,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “But Passion for Fashion means even more than that. This special one-day event is about developing positive self-esteem and self-confidence, bonding with other teens, and sharing a major life experience with the women in your life, from mothers and sisters to aunties and grandmas.”

This year’s Passion for Fashion event will take place on Saturday, March 12 at CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center. And for the eighth year in a row, the daylong event will feature a special theme; past years’ themes have included Old Hollywood Glamour, Juicy Couture, Alice in Wonderland, Fashion Week, The ‘80s: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, International Women’s Day, and Graffiti & Street Art. This year’s theme: “The Force Awakens.”

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    2015 Christmas Toy Drive Brings Santa Claus to 1,600+ Children

2015 Christmas Toy Drive Brings Santa Claus to 1,600+ Children

The numbers are in, and they’re numbers the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has never seen before. In its 2015 Christmas Toy Drive, the 27-year-old, not-for-profit youth organization brought Santa Claus to more than 1,600 children across South Dakota’s remote Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

As they do every year, Cheyenne River’s children wrote heartfelt letters to Santa throughout the fall months, asking for gifts for themselves and frequently for family members as well. This past fall, letters came from 340 families, regular participants at CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center and The Main youth center, and children who live in local shelters and foster care.

“During the past few years, we’ve set a goal of serving 1,500 children at Christmastime,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “We constantly strive to expand our reach and serve more children each year, since the need is so great on Cheyenne River. We’re stunned that we not only exceeded our goal this year, we exceeded it by more than 100 children. We simply couldn’t have done that without all of our dedicated partners, and our army of around-the-clock volunteers. It’s so much more than a seasonal toy drive. It’s a movement.”

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January Hall of Fame: Maxwell Peacock

Maxwell Peacock, 14, is a member of CRYP’s second cohort of Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Interns. He started coming to our campus regularly about a year ago, drawn to the environment and learning opportunities he saw at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center — in particular, he says he was interested in our arts programming.

CRYP began its innovative teen arts internship program last winter. During each four-month internship cycle, teens participate in training opportunities, engage in open studio time, attend leadership development workshops, explore career opportunities for artists, plan community events to promote our groundbreaking Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, and unveil their own work within that free public space when it’s ready.

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