While the Cheyenne River Youth Project has been offering Native Wellness Internships for teens since 2014 and a variety of wellness-related children’s programs since its founding 30 years ago, the nonprofit organization is launching an exciting new wellness initiative in November. “Wellness Wednesdays” will incorporate new wellness programming for both teens at Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) and the younger children who attend The Main youth center next door.

“We’re looking forward to offering a monthlong initiative that brings The Main kids into our Cokata Wiconi teen center,” says Jerica Widow, CRYP’s youth programs director. “Not only will Wellness Wednesdays introduce them to our teen facilities so they have an idea of what to expect when they turn 13, they’ll have the opportunity to interact with our Native Wellness interns, who have helped design the programs and are serving as youth mentors for the younger kids.”

On Nov. 7, the youth project will host a dance class for children ages 4-12 in the Cokata Wiconi dance studio. The class will introduce the children to different types of dancing, from traditional Lakota dances to contemporary and hip-hop.

On Nov. 14, teens ages 13-18 will be invited to form teams and participate in the Cokata Wiconi Fitness Center for a special “Circuit Training Challenge.” The teams will compete for prizes as they work their way through the circuit.

On Nov. 21, CRYP will ask teens ages 13-18 to return to Cokata Wiconi to take part in a wellness survey. This will cover topics related to emotional and mental health, giving the teens an opportunity to share how they’re feeling—and allowing staff members to learn more about the young people’s overall well-being so they can design relevant, appropriate wellness programming for 2019 and beyond.

And finally, on Nov. 28, youth ages 4-12 may return to Cokata Wiconi for the eagerly anticipated “Intro to Gymnastics.” During this introductory class, the kids will learn the fundamentals of gymnastics and enjoy hours of active, engaging play. 

For more information about Wellness Wednesdays, including timing for each class, keep an eye on the CRYP website and social media platforms; staff will post updated information as it becomes available. Interested parents, caregivers and youth also may call the main office at (605) 964-8200.

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 (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@LakotaYouth) and Instagram (@waniyetuwowapi).

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.