We’re All God’s Children sent its first team to Takini School in 2015. This small Prairie school is located approximately an hour and a half from Eagle Butte, South Dakota in the small town of Howes. Most of the drive is through desolate land, with a few houses scattered along the road. When you turn off the main road, you will be traveling for about forty-five minutes down a gravel road as you approach the school.
Currently the school has about 183 students in grades K-12 and is headed by Superintendent Kit Viet. Over the years the changes we have seen are dramatic. There is an air of hope and excitement as a new school year begins! For the first time the school will have a football team!
They are painting the school vibrant colors inside and out. The walls are filled with encouraging signs, murals and posters encouraging the children to do their best. The staff is also setting up a thrift shop for the children to receive clothing, socks, hats, gloves and other necessary items. This will give the students a sense of dignity as they will now be able to choose the things they need.
(Photo credits: Takini School)
That is the good news! What you don’t know until you visit the school is the insurmountable odds that face the students and staff with each new year. The school is so remote that some students board at the school in trailers, cared for by the school staff.
They have had to hold classes on a four-day week schedule at times due to lack of staff. They are in need of up to date curriculum, and many other items most teachers take for granted. We're All God’s Children has been able to play a part in equipping the classrooms with teaching aids, books, school supplies, and items for STEAM projects.
Our last team also helped fill up the “thrift shop” with lots of beautiful new winter hats, gloves, scarves, and personal items donated by our supporters.
The name Takini in Lakota means those who survive and the school was named for the survivors of the Wounded Knee Massacre who returned to Cheyenne River Reservation at Bridger. What an appropriate name for the school.
These teachers, staff and parents are working together to make sure that their children have more opportunities than they had. To make sure the spirit of being a survivor is passed on to them and to the generations to come!