year Main University Art Studies on Cheyenne River Indian
Eagle Butte, SD On Monday, September 28, the Cheyenne
River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, is launching its
fall semester of Main University, one of the not-for-profit youth
organization's most popular and enduring programs. Recipient of
a "Champion for Children" award from the South Dakota Coalition
for Children, Main University is designed for 4- to 12-year-olds
who attend The Main youth center; it was founded by former long-term
volunteer Tracie Farrell in 2002.
Main University allows participants to take short courses that
mimic those offered in a college setting, giving Cheyenne River
children a chance to study subjects that may not be offered in school.
This fall, the CRYP staff has created lesson plans for four hourlong
courses: Baking, Collage, Beadwork, and Stenciling & Painting.
look forward to graduation
In Baking, students will learn all about cooking safety, and
they will practice measuring ingredients. Recipes include Peanutty
Graham, No-Bake Cookies, Peanut Cookies, and Halloween Popcorn Pumpkins.
In Collage, the children will learn how to plan their own collage
projects, from finding the right pictures and colors to choosing
mediums. They also will discuss the meanings and stories expressed
through collage and other art forms, exploring what they want to
say with their projects.
In Beadwork, students will learn daisy chains, loomwork and
flat stitching. And in Stenciling & Painting, they'll work with
watercolors, simple stenciling and aerosol, and acrylic painting.
Tammy Eagle Hunter, CRYP's youth programs director and an accomplished
artist in her own right, will teach Stenciling & Painting.
"Having the ability to express yourself is incredibly powerful,"
Eagle Hunter said. "Through art, our children learn to tell their
stories, share their life experiences and express their own unique
identities in a positive, healthy way. I love art in all its forms,
and I'm passionate about its ability to transform lives and
to heal, which is so important in our reservation communities. It's
such a privilege to be able to teach these skills and share an artistic
journey with our kids through Main University."
Each Main University course is assigned its own weekday. During
the fall semester, courses will be held every Monday through Thursday
at 5 p.m. In October, students will attended classes until October
22; The Main will be closed to youth on October 26-31 so staff and
volunteers can prepare for the annual Haunted House.
Classes will resume on Monday, November 2, and this year's graduation
ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Monday, November 30. Children
must attend 16 or more classes to graduate.
"If you can't join us right away on the September 28 start date,
don't worry," Eagle Hunter said. "You'll still have time to participate.
Just join us as soon as you can, and make sure to attend 16 classes.
Then you can take part in our graduation ceremony and celebration."
Eagle Hunter noted that the young children who participate in
activities at The Main eagerly look forward to Main University in
fall and spring. They are excited to choose which courses to take
based on their interests; and, as Eagle Hunter observed, that is
exactly how higher education works.
"We want our kids to learn the importance of taking responsibility
for their attendance, for their classroom work, and for any of their
take-home projects," she said. "We also want them to follow their
passions and see how learning can be interesting and fun. It's exciting
for us as a staff, because we see how much our kids progress each
semester, and it's wonderful to see them taking an active role in
their education and developing valuable life skills, such
as embracing new subject matter, interacting with instructors, and
working together as a team."
To learn more about the Cheyenne River Youth Project and its
programs, and for information about making donations and volunteering,
call (605) 964-8200 or visit www.lakotayouth.org.
And, to stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow
the youth project on Facebook (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@LakotaYouth)
and Instagram (@waniyetuwowapi).
River Youth Project®
The Cheyenne River Youth Project®
was founded in January 1988 in response to the communitys
need for more services that support struggling children and their
families. Originally housed in a converted bar on the towns
Main Street, the organization created a safe place for children
to come after school, offering activities such as arts and crafts,
intramural sports and volunteer mentorship, in addition to serving
a healthy meal and snack each day. The youth center, known locally
as The Main, was operated completely by a volunteer
staff and quickly became a vital element of the Cheyenne River Community.
Despite its small size, and very little money for programming, the
center was filled to capacity each day.