PROJECT WICOZANI: MIDDLE SCHOOL
Three-year program offered in four middle schools in Rapid City Area Schools: North, South, East, and West which serves 150 youth a year.
This program utilizes the Lakota Circles of Hope curriculum to pair youth with an adult mentor who begins contact in school and then continues interaction and support after school. Our hope is to address the suicide epidemic plaguing our youth and bring them back into contact with culture and their tribal identities under the premise that "culture heals." The Lakota Circles of Hope serves as the backbone of this project, bringing structure to the introduction of cultural values and spirituality, meaningful implementation of the talking circle, and introduction to Lakota ceremonies.
Student will have opportunities to participate in ceremonies, along with their parents, under the guidance of spiritual leader Richard Moves Camp.
MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL
Five year program in all Rapid City middle and high schools (eight schools) providing services to 725 students and their families.
Priority is to inspire students to avoid teen pregnancy and stay in school.The goal is reduced absenteeism, an increase in graduation rates and GED achievement, a decrease in behaviors that contribute to injury or violence, and an improvement in coping, resiliency and problem solving skills. A goal is increased career readiness and improved chances for successful employment.
Middle school youth are involved in Project AIM (Adult Identity Mentoring), a curriculum that encourages youth to imagine a positive future and identify how they can avoid current risk behaviors that can be a barrier to a successful adulthood.
Ateyapi high school youth are completing a curriculum to reduce the risk of HIV, STD's (sexually transmitted diseases) and teen pregnancy.
Project Lakota: LAKOTA ADOLESCENTS KEEPING OUR TRADITIONS ALIVE
The Lakota language is in danger of disappearing.
Only 7% of contemporary Lakota people are native speakers, and each year an average of 1.3% of those speakers leave us.
Believing that the loss of Lakota language and culture impacts levels of self-esteem, identity and therefore achievement for low-income American Indian children and their families, RAI is excited to offer another three-year Lakota language program.
Master Speaker, Rhonda Yankton, trains RAI staff, parents and community members to teach the Lakota language in the 4th and 5th grade students in Rapid City at General Beadle, Knollwood, South Park, Horace Mann, and Robbinsdale Elementary. Using curriculum from Red Cloud Indian School immersion program, a program of Thunder Valley, 450 middle school students will receive one hour of focused immersion each day.
In addition, 300 parents, 60 staff and at least 100 community members are receiving language training at no cost. During the school year classes are held Monday through Thursday from 5-6pm evenings at 612 Crazy Horse Street and a meal is always provided.
Adrian Primeaux, the mentor at General Beadle Elementary, poses with his hand game team during our annual hand game tournament last week.
Ateyapi Coordinators pictured below are Rhonda Yankton- Coordinator of the elementary program, Project Lakota, Whitney Rencountre- Coordinator of the Middle School and High School Tier 1 program, and Robbie Yellowhawk who is the Coordinator for the middle school program, Project Wicozani.