Keeping Children Active and Learning in Summer Months
Memorial Day weekend is often considered the unofficial start to summer and now that it’s behind us, summer break is on the minds of many children – and their parents! Summer may call for some rest and relaxation, but maintaining some aspects of the school day is just as important to keep young minds learning and growing ahead of their next grade level.
Partnership With Native Americans works with many tribal partners to ensure children living on the reservation get access to opportunities to fuel their physical and mental growth.
PWNA partnered with Hopi Residential Youth Development and Hopi Junior/Senior High School students on the Hopi Reservation to create a gathering place accessible even when school is not in session, while simultaneously promoting health and wellness. The class added benches and four trees to an existing playground, as well as pavers (enclosures to keep sand and wood chips off the playground) with PWNA support. This project provided a positive youth activity, supported skills development through project leadership, and empowered youth to know they can make a difference. The project continues to evolve, with the next phase being a basketball court, soccer field and gardening project.
In South Dakota, PWNA partnered with Rosebud Sioux Tribe Veterans Affairs for a youth project focused on repairing bikes and teaching youth how to ride them and ride safely. This project supported a healthy youth activity and empowered “earning” through participation. To help launch the program, PWNA donated bikes and bike helmets, which the youth would earn upon completion of the program. Thirty youth participated from three communities: Rosebud, Mission and Two Strike on the Rosebud Reservation. Earning the bikes will make the youth more mobile and the focus on repairing their own equipment encourages self-sufficiency. Due to its initial success, the program is ongoing and looking at future interests, such as teaming up with a local Boys and Girls Club, starting a soccer ball initiative and putting together a cross-country ski club.
Don’t toss aside thoughts of school supplies and backpacks just because school’s not in session for the summer. PWNA is already thinking about how critical your donations and support will be to our efforts this fall to ensure students on the reservation are prepared for the new school year. More on that in the coming weeks!