Shayleen Britton’s 2017 Dreamstarter project, Wailaki Kun-nes Ba-kang-ish-naa-gai (Wailaki Language, Around It, My Heart Travels) brought the Wailaki language to the community through events, a Facebook and Instagram page, and a website.
Shay and her Wailaki language team put together four Wailaki events, teaching over 200 children and approximately sixty adults, the Wailaki language. Three of the events were at the Round Valley Middle/Elementary School during the school day so more children could have access to the language and be able to associate learning Wailaki with fun and excitement.
During the Wailaki language events, students played board games, bingo, the stave game, basketball, card games, Spin the Wheel, Jenga, and many others games while learning vocabulary, songs, and phrases in Wailaki. Students also practice words and phrases for our Wailaki Facebook page. Each language booth had an incentive momento, so students could leave the game or booth with a reminder of the language they learned so they could practice on their own.
Shayleena was able to bring together a group of students at the high school with supportive adults to create a team that put on these events for the community to enjoy. This “team” worked hard to support the language and grew close as a language family.
Shay’s Wailaki Facebook page has 610 “likes” and 638 people “following.” The page has followers from fifty different cities or towns and nine different states. Many people have responded positively to the daily uploads featuring Shay and her team and the projects they created in the language. This Facebook page is now a fount of information for community members wishing to learn the language and have easy access to hear and read the language.
Shayleena’s project has been a HUGE success! Adults and children are thankful for the opportunity to learn Wailaki and show their appreciation with hugs, smiles, Facebook messaging and “likes!” Nshong-nhaa-nul-lah (Good for us you did) Running Strong for providing this opportunity to realize a dream.
-Shayleena and Cheryl (DS Mentor)