Looking ahead, February will be a very busy month for the youth at the P.L.A.C.E. with our participants celebrating several events and programs.

In our G.E.T. Smart Program, the students will hopefully be shaking off those post-holiday break blues. With the new semester in gear, 95 percent of our youth turned in their progress reports with all showing some improvements to close out last month. We think that some of the improvements can be attributed to our 100 percent participation in our afternoon homework help sessions where students can get assistance right after the school bells toll. Our academic counselors, Ben Mcalister and Wilson Littlehead, will continue with their college prep class, doing their part to help improve the chances of getting our students on track for a higher education.

In the G.E.T. Native Program the youth will be working on creating dream catchers while learning about their history and why they’re tied to Native American culture. (Hint – they’re not as culturally significant as some would have you believe). Students will also learn about the history and significance of Wounded Knee in Indian Country.

In other G.E.T. Native instruction, students will learn about the importance of the American bison to the plains tribes and hear about the histories of famous Native American leaders like Geronimo, Tecumseh and Crazy Horse. Keeping with this theme, they’ll also learn about the proud tradition of Native American Code Talkers in the U.S. Armed Forces and the role of tribes in the French and Indian War.

The House of Hope’s Amanda Chapman will be working with our students to educate them on a four week dating violence prevention program. The sessions will be:

  • What is teen dating violence?
  • Understanding teen dating violence.
  • Dating matters. Strategies to promote healthier teen relationships.
  • Our arts programs are also in full swing with the following projects:
  • Teen Dating Violence Awareness Poster Contest
  • Black History Month Collage Contest
  • Fat Tuesday-Mardi Gras Art

Healthy Heart Poster Contest (The winner of this will get tickets to a show at FireLake Arena show or with FireLake gift cards.)

In our G.E.T. Fit program, our youth will be finishing up the “lose it” with a deck of card program which at time of writing has become quite successful with both our participants and staff. We’ve got other activities scheduled to keep the hearts pupmping including:

  • 3-on-3 Soccer
  • Stickball
  • Navajo Kickball
  • Whiffle ball game – For the love of the game
  • Arena Style Flag Football 
  • A 3-point Basketball Contest
  • Hot Spot Contest
  • Ping Pong Tournament
  • P.L.A.C.E. Uno Tournament (If you don’t think this gets blood pumping, you’ve never had a skip card played on you.)

We’re busy but always looking for new participants, so please reach out to me. If you would like to learn more about FireLodge Tribal Youth Program or the P.L.A.C.E., please contact me at dgreene@potawatomi.org.