We love getting to know our youngest CRYPers at what we’ve come to call, affectionately, “the little Main.” These 4- to 12-year-olds are enthusiastic about everything they do here, and we get a kick out of watching them discover their passions and interests as they have fun, socialize with friends, and enjoy quality time with staff, mentors and volunteers.

Eight-year-old Mya Cloud Eagle has been coming to The Main since she was 5. She says she learned about CRYP through her auntie, and she decided she needed to check it out. Why?

“Because it’s cool,” Mya says.

In the beginning, toys were the primary attraction. Mya and the other kids could come to The Main after school and on Saturdays to play, either in the outdoor playground or in the youth center’s main indoor gathering area, which is ground zero for arts-and-crafts activities, meals and snacks, games, and often spirited sessions of dress-up and make-believe.

As time went on, however, Mya discovered a few interests that are particularly special to her.

“I love reading in the library,” she says. “And I love to paint and draw.”

Since The Main is both a drop-in center and CRYP’s first opportunity to interact with local children, staff and volunteers design programs that will introduce the kids to a variety of activities in a relaxed environment. They adjust those offerings based on interest levels, engaging the participants on an individual level and encouraging them to attend open hours as often as they can. 

The Main’s ongoing literacy programs enticed Mya to spend time in our on-site children’s library. And the frequent arts-and-crafts sessions allowed her to explore her favorite forms of artistic and creative expression. 

Now, the third-grader is eagerly anticipating the day when she can transition to the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center next door.

“There’s just so much stuff to do there,” she enthuses. “I want to play basketball.”

Mya hopes to be a police officer one day, and she says she’d like to visit—or even live in—New York City. Go Mya! We can’t wait to see what you’ll do in the years ahead.