Things have stayed quite busy for the FireLodge Tribal Youth Program since the kickoff of the 2016 school year. This is the time of year we look forward to at the PLACE, with many Lyouth enrolled in extracurricular activities such as band, football, softball and color guard, just to name a few. As staff, this gives us a great opportunity to get out into the community and show our support for the hard working youth we are fortunate enough to work with. Though our youth and staff are putting in extra hours, all have stayed focused and motivated to achieve our goals here at the PLACE. 

Get Native Program: One of our goals is to assist our youth in getting in touch with their Native identity. Our cultural program managers, Michael Logan and Coby Lehman, do a superb job of not only helping the youth connect with their heritage, but also teach how to use this knowledge as a tool in today’s world. This past month the program focused on some of the Native arts. Staff introduced various types of native drums, rattles, flutes, and dancing regalia; while teaching which tribes used which elements of nature for assembly and why.

Get Social Initiative: October is a huge month for the FireLodge Tribal Youth Program and its participants. With Red Ribbon Week, Breast Cancer Awareness, Domestic Violence Awareness, National Bullying Prevention and National Suicide Prevention Month all being observed in October; we will stay busy and contribute all we can for these great causes.

The PLACE will be competing in a national Red Ribbon Week contest in which our youth and staff must function as a team and decorate the front of our facility in an attempt to bring awareness with creativity. We have created wonderful relationships with the CPN House of Hope as well as the CPN Healthy Heart Program and as a result, some of their great staff visited and lent their expertise on dating teen violence and suicide prevention.

Anyone that has stepped foot in our facility knows that we have zero tolerance on bullying. During this month we have a chance to reinforce these ideals and truly educate the youth on the tremendously negative impact bullying can have on someone now, as well as later in their life. We will present true accounts of bullying survivors and the effects, how to handle a situation in which you are being bullied, and the many types of bullying that exist today.

Get Smart Program: We continue to assist our youth with their academics on a daily basis during our homework help session. Thus far all youth have kept up with their classroom responsibilities and are excelling this fall. An extension of our Get Smart Program is the TYP’s College Prep and Career Readiness Program, and it is in full swing as well. This program is spearheaded by Wilson Littlehead and I on a weekly basis. It is never too early to start preparing for life after high school. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, there are steps that can be taken to stay on a path that leads to college and scholastic success. We have college site visits scheduled for Oklahoma Baptist University, East Central, Seminole State and the University of Oklahoma to name a few.

If you’d like to learn more about our programs, please reach out to our Director Darin Greene or call us at 405-214-5110.