Throughout its 25-year history, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has worked hard to provide new, innovative programming to meet the needs of its youth and their families. This month, the not-for-profit youth organization offered two exciting additions to its lineup of programs and services: canning classes, which are open to the community; and technology workshops that teach critical skills such as digital video and editing.
CRYP held its first-ever canning classes on July 2 and July 9 at The Main youth center. Participants gathered in The Main’s activity room and kitchen to prepare and can chokecherry jelly during the first session, and mild salsa from the “Ball Blue Book” for canning in the second session.
“Everyone went home with six or seven pint-size jars of salsa that they’d made from scratch and canned themselves,” said Craig Martin, CRYP’s summer garden coordinator, of the July 9 class. Martin received special training in Rapid City so he could lead the evening canning classes and teach additional workshops in the future.
“CRYP staff members also made salsa, so we’re going to be selling it at our Leading Lady Farmers Market on Fridays,” he continued. “The class was a lot of fun, and the participants were very proud of what they’d learned and accomplished.”
The youth project’s canning classes were open to ages 13 and up, with an enrollment fee of $15 per adult; youth ages 13 to 18 were free. CRYP hosted these classes in conjunction with South Dakota State University’s Cheyenne River Extension Office and its representative, Marcella Gilbert. Funding from the Northwest Area Foundation also supported the program.
Also earlier this month, CRYP invited youth to attend its first-ever “Tech Week” workshop, which focused on digital video. Led by Jonathan Stuart-Moore, CRYP’s technology coordinator, the workshop allowed two teams to produce basketball-themed videos.
“Elijah Brown Wolf interwove an interview about his interest in basketball with shots of him playing,” Stuart-Moore said. “Kaysonia Bartlett made a highlights reel of a game between three other kids.”
“After the class builds one game together, youth will create their own games by designing their own images and game-play details,” Stuart-Moore explained. “On the last day, students will demonstrate their projects to each other.”
All the tools used to build the games will be free, so youth may download them at home and continue their creative work. The group will use Chrome to run the games, SublimeText to write the code, and Adobe CS2 and Inkscape to design the images.
“We’re really excited about this workshop, because the kids will leave with their own finished games that are playable online,” Stuart-Moore said. “And, they’ll have more understanding of how basic programming works.”
The game programming workshop is open free to ages 12-18. Only 10 spaces are available, so interested youth are encouraged to call CRYP at (605) 964-8200 as early as possible to register.
“We’re hoping to continue offering ‘Tech Week’ workshops throughout the year,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “We want to give our young people an opportunity to develop skills that will support them throughout their higher education and even into their careers. Skills like digital video, graphic design, website development and even game programming are essential to today’s hottest jobs, and often, those jobs can be done from home — whether you’re self-employed or telecommuting to a larger organization. And that’s great news for kids who seek ways to build their careers while also remaining part of their community.”
To learn more about the Cheyenne River Youth Project and its programs, and for information about making donations and volunteering, call (605) 964-8200 or visit www.lakotayouth.org. And, to stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.