In 1997, Running Strong for American Indian Youth® established a partnership with the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP) on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation – a partnership which remains as strong as ever today, nearly 20 years later.
During the years, Running Strong has provided funding to CRYP for numerous programs it operates including home repairs for families in need, utility assistance so families aren’t without heat during the coldest winter days, as well as the Toys for Tribes program at Christmas, backpacks filled with pencils and paper so children will be prepared for class on the very first day of school, and more.
But perhaps what we take most pride in in the construction of not one, but two youth centers – “The Main” for children 4 – 12, and the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) Teen Center for youth ages 13 – 18.
“Both centers encourage the development of valuable life skills that will help our young people deal with the obstacles placed in front of them,” states the CRYP website.
Both centers also offer literacy programs in the knowledge that “literacy is not just about reading, it is about comprehension, expression of oneself and communication.”
To encourage reading for pleasure and learning outside of the classroom setting, The Main offers a daily “Library Hour” during which time the younger children can choose to read a book quietly on their own, or work with a volunteer on their reading and comprehension skills.
The teen center contains a beautiful library stocked with books that encourage, educate and inspire Native youth, and CRYP is always is need of more new books including reference books, the classics, Native American titles, poetry, non-fiction and more.
Our decades’ long support of CRYP provides for much of the learning that will support the communities of Cheyenne River for decades into the future.