Tanka brings healthy snacks to Lakota school on Pine Ridge

February 20, 2014

Leela White, a 6-year-old student at Lakota Woglaka Wounspe, enjoys a Apple Orange Peel Tanka Stick.

The Lakota Woglaka Wounspe: Immersion School is a school that caters to K1-5th grade on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. I have started delivering Tanka products to the school once a month for the kids to enjoy during snack time.

Their teachings involve ways to incorporate and bring back Lakota language, traditions, and culture to young Lakota students (example: The Lakota Creation Story). Classes like reading involve speaking and reading in Lakota. Science uses the teaching of traditional plant, herbs and animals that are familiar to our location.

When I arrived at the school recently, the smaller kids (K1-2nd grade) had class time speaking Lakota in class/story time. The older kids (3rd-5th) were working up an appetite in P.E. by running.

The School has 28 students all together and four teachers: Dusty Nelson, Marilyn Loafer, Jeff White Bear Claws and Darlene Last Horse, and one coordinator -- Didier DuPont. When snack time came the kids enjoyed our Tanka products and they asked me to come back the next day so I could bring some more. All the kids gave thanks to the Creator for the snacks before they ate.

Didier DuPont with the students during their snack time.
Didier DuPont with the students during their snack time.
Teacher Dusty Nelson sits with students.
Teacher Dusty Nelson sits with students.

The students also thanked me for bringing such a delicious snack for them to eat. They also teased me a little because I was wearing my monkey shirt and they all called me "Sunka Wicasa" which means monkey in Lakota. We are glad to be doing this fun and wonderful thing with the kids from the Immersion School. Community projects are fun and I am glad the kids like the Tanka snacks. I can not wait to go see them all next month.

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