All Girls Prep School Coming to Pine Ridge
Champagne is on the board of similar tribal schools in California. “In one school they are writing essays in the third grade, so they score well and are competitive in their skills. The goal is for every child to go to college, and starting that focus in young grades,” he said.
“Everyone is in favor of good education, but there is frustration because the public schools have not produced. It’s only recently that the tribes have the money to do these experimental schools. It’s really exciting and shows a clear pattern,” Champagne said.
“It’s the first time a school will be melding what works best for girls and what works best for the Lakota. It’s taking the girls’ school research around the next corner,” Shorr-Perkins said. “And the thing is, this school model can be tweaked for boys and inner-city, and I look forward to it happening. The school will serve as a community resource, and we will have a functioning greenhouse facility, theatre arts, cross-country skiing. It will work for the whole community.”
“In 50 years will anyone be speaking in Lakota,” Iron Cloud asked. “Will they be speaking in kinship terms, and how do we make this happen? We need to sacrifice and show our commitment to this way of life. It’s not only about educational achievement, it is about putting something in place that will benefit the people. We have to look out for each other as people.”
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