Marty Indian School is our newest assistance area which started at the beginning of the 2016 school year after elementary school principal, Gina Curran, contacted Sew For Kids for our help in getting clothing, toiletries, school supplies, etc. to help her kindergarten through grade 5 students.
The school is located about 240 miles east of Pine Ridge Reservation near the Nebraska border on the Yankton Sioux Reservation which is part of the Great Sioux Nation. Ninety five percent of students are Western Dakota from the Marty area, the other five percent are from other reservations across South Dakota. The school was founded in 1924 as St. Paul’s Indian Mission School and has been tribally owned and operated by the Yankton Sioux Tribe since 1975. The school has quite an interesting history, we encourage you to read about it here. There is a boarding school for grades 7-12 but at the present time we’re only assisting the elementary grades K-5. We posted two blogs about the school you can read here and here.
Principal Gina Curran explains a rather unique program at the school called “The Feather Store” that we’re really excited about:
“The Feather Store is stocked with basic school supplies, donated toys, etc. Children earn a feather for displaying the Dakota values and their parent also earns a matching feather. They can then go to the Feather Store and use their feathers to purchase shoes, school supplies, toys, clothes, and so on. Parents can also go to the store and spend their feathers on care packages (dish rag, soap, tooth paste, tooth brushes, combs, feminine hygiene items), t-shirts, backpacks, etc.” They prefer to have kids earn some of the things they need/want instead of just handing things out. We applaud Gina and the school for implementing this program which gives people a hand up, not a hand out.