The middle/high Principal of the Crazy Horse School, Wanblee's K-12 primary and secondary school, told Lakota Kidz: “All school supplies are welcome. Many of our students don't have the means to bring school supplies with them so we provide a lot of it for them. Donations of pencils, pens, paper, notebooks, folders etc. are really useful.”
I'm not entirely surprised that some Reservation households don't have a spare dollar for a notebook and pen. Lakota Kidz has long recognized that the expense of heating fuel keeps parents strapped, especially during six months of freezing cold weather. That's why we continue our family fuel program even as we seek to serve Wanblee's schoolchildren in other ways. Last winter, with your donations, we provided a record 29 households with emergency fuel assistance.
Crazy Horse School struggles against tough odds to educate all the district's children. The devoted staff devises creative ways to keep students engaged, including an optional, after-school math club, computer lab, and Winter Formal dance. The math club students won a victory in 2013 that shows how hard they work – a “Math Mania” contest in which they beat hundreds of schools in ten Midwestern states! An article about their win is at http://bit.ly/1OeIkac
It's clear that the school is nurturing, but the pushback of poverty is relentless. As their critical thinking abilities mature, students cannot help but see limits imposed by poverty. Research shows that "children who are poor have higher drop-out rates, higher rates of retention at grade level, and higher special education placement rates than children who are not poor." (Early Childhood Education Journal). According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the dropout rate for Native American students is twice the national average.
Educational support is precious. As every educator says, early intervention is key. This year, we've expanded our Wish Lists to include more school books and supplies. Please visit “Lakota Kidz Crazy Horse School Drive” on Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/2fw3E5Q to donate books or supplies directly to Crazy Horse School.
Values: Wisdom, Generosity, Respect, Courage,
Spirituality, Patience, Honesty
By Linda Simon, Chairman
The end of summer and beginning of the school year can be a bittersweet time for kids. When I was a child, shopping for school supplies at Woolworth's in Boston eased the transition. I excitedly picked out pencils and pens in favorite colors, pink erasers, a protractor, pencil sharpener, and zippered pouch to hold them, plus a lunch box decorated with the cartoon character of the year. With every grade, there were more purchases – spiral notebooks, binders, index cards, mechanical pencils, book-bags, and books to augment the school's texts. My parents bought additional supplies for home, plus back-to-school clothes. They were not rich by any measure, but they had jobs and easy access to consumer goods. Tools in short supply. It's sobering to learn that the children of Wanblee lack such basic supplies, not to mention electronics, and that the school must scramble to furnish them as extra-budget items.