For the Cheyenne River Youth Project, literacy is not just about reading, it is about comprehension, expression of oneself and communication. Created over ten years ago, our year-round literacy program incorporates reading aloud, creative and persuasive writing and letter writing.

Our daily literacy activities include a Library Hour, during which the children can chose to read a book quietly, or work with a volunteer on their reading and comprehension skills. Volunteers also encourage the children to keep in touch with relatives, past volunteers and even their representatives in congress through the Main Post Office, through which children can send and receive mail with volunteer assistance. Writing letters helps the children to learn how to formulate ideas and opinions, opening up their ability to influence the world around them. Some children have even written to the President of the United States!

During the summer months, CRYP endeavors to keep the children’s reading skills active through the Summer Readng Program. Specific reading goals are set for each age group that participates, and children that work toward these goals receive stickers for each book that they complete, with the assistance of a volunteer or on their own. The children that have worked consistently throughout the summer are treated to a special field trip at the summer’s end. This year the Cheyenne River Youth Project is proud to announce a new Summer Writing Workshop for kids spearheaded by volunteer Heather Freckman!

Our books are donated by individuals and corporations across the nation, and sorted for shelving with the help of a local librarian, Joan Upell. With her assistance, we make sure to line our shelves with only quality books and reference materials.

In addition to hard copy books, we also have three small computers in the library that we have outfitted with some learning software. We hope to improve in this area with a donation of more advanced computer systems in the future.

Explore The Main

Arts & Crafts

All cultures utilize the arts to provide social commentary, whether it is the expression of emotions, the documentation of historical events, or the preservation of heritage. The Lakota, also, have a rich history as craftspeople and artisans, a tradition that CRYP respects and promotes in its activities. Learn more about Arts & Crafts at the Main.


At CRYP, literacy is not just about reading. It’s about developing comprehension skills, exploring new ways to express yourself, and appreciating different forms of communication. And, it’s about having fun. Learn more about Literacy at the Main.


A healthy body is vital for improving self-esteem, gaining confidence and keeping the mind open to new ideas and information. Through our Wellness activities, our children enjoy recreation, mentorship and teamwork while learning new skills. Learn more about Wellness at the Main.

Main University

Through an innovative series of staff- and volunteer-taught classes in a variety of subjects, our award-winning Main University enhances children’s current school experience—and lays the groundwork for the whole new world of higher education. Learn more about Main University.


We encourage children to attend The Main on a regular basis through our fun, creative and educational Clubs. In each session, the kids build on what they learned the previous week, and they strengthen their connections to their mentors, peers and Lakota values. Learn more about The Main’s Clubs.