"When we first got here we basically had nothing. Just the clothes on our back. We were just looking for a new life, a new start. We were homeless."    

Kristine Haukaas, Head Start parent.

Prenatal to Five Head Start
program serves pregnant women and
children ages 0-5 years of age

RAI was the first organization in the nation to convince the federal government to use a tribally controlled Head Start program to serve Urban Indians and we have continued this policy. Our Early Head Start and Head Start programs prioritize services for families moving from the reservation to Rapid City, usually in search of economic opportunity for themselves and their family.  

Our Early Head Start and Head Start programs all use The Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies GOLD for guidance on the environments as well as for an observation and assessment system. All of our teachers complete weekly lesson plans for their classrooms and input weekly observations on each child.  

Ateyapi ("Fatherhood in the Lakota Language")
Three youth Mentoring programs that serve youth
from elementary (4th grade) through high school
The Ateyapi Youth Mentoring Program was developed and implemented by RAI in 1994, and serves approximately 1200 students in the Rapid City Area School District annually. Adult American Indian role models who are alcohol and drug-free, with a knowledge of their culture, serve as mentors, and together with their students strive for personal, group, family and community enhancement.
Our mentors, located in Rapid City's elementary, middle and high schools, serve as paraprofessionals during the day, helping in the schools. After school they teach the curriculum their particular Ateyapi program uses. Our elementary age youth are working on Lakota Language. Our middle school programs include YES (Youth Engagement in Sports), a health improvement program, and  Tokata Eyucgan Po (Thinking About the Future), a teen pregnancy prevention program.