The Star Kids and Sparkle programs are for young Pine Ridge Reservation children between the ages of 5 and 13. For many of these young children of the Lakota culture, the end of the school year marks the end of daily educational experiences, the end of positive interactions with adults and other children, nutritious meals, and the end of a safe and happy place to spend the hours of the day. The Star Kids program is for children between the ages of 5 and 9 and Sparkle is for youth between the ages of 10 and 13.
In the months of June and July, these young, school-aged children are picked up every morning from the surrounding communities of Kyle, Manderson, Wounded Knee, Evergreen, Porcupine, and Sharp’s Corner and delivered safely to The Dream Center aboard the WAEM Bus. The Star Kids and Sparkle programs include educational ministry for Native American children and Christianity and a number of fun activities to fill the long, summer days. At the end of the day, they are returned safely home by WAEM Bus Outreach.
Native American Children and Christianity
The Star Kids and Sparkle programs work to forge a close connection between the Oglala Lakota Native American children and Christianity through the learning of Christ’s love. Together, the children actively engage in Bible Study, discover the power of prayer, and learn what it means to be a Christian. At the same time, the children are encouraged to embrace their own Lakota culture as a truly unique gift from God.
Dream Center Activities
The kids of Pine Ridge Reservation board the WAEM Outreach Bus and come to The Dream Center to enjoy fun activities in the company of friends. On hot days, the waterslide keeps the kids cool. In addition to some healthy competition in the form of sports and games, the children engage in crafts, skits, and music that aim to weave their Lakota culture into the Christian message.
Every day throughout the summer at The Dream Center, the kids are fed a hot lunch before returning home on the WAEM Outreach Bus. Wednesday evenings are free BBQ nights, where the children as well as all surrounding communities are invited to enjoy an evening of food and worship.
In September of 2011, Wings as Eagles Ministries acquired a 60-passenger bus, and it was the answer to many of our prayers! With this blessing-on-wheels now in WAEM possession, we’re always sure to have a competent, CDL licensed driver on staff—someone to pick up the children and bring them to The Dream Center.
WAEM’S Bus Outreach is important, because many living within the meager confines of the Lakota culture do not have a mode of transportation to go to and from The Dream Center. The Bus Outreach program is a reliable form of transportation for these Lakota children and families. With bus service, so many more are able to attend the many events and activities that The Dream Center hosts.
Please consider donating towards the Bus Outreach, either online or by mail, so that the children and families of the Lakota culture can continue to enjoy The Dream Center and involvement with Wings as Eagles Ministries!
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