Nearly everyone has been effected, both personally and professionally, by the current pandemic. Did you know that Fort Peck residents are hit harder because of preexisting conditions on the Reservation?
Take a picture of the kids out of school. Kids that live off the Reservation are happy they don’t have to report to school. They’ll pass the school year and go on to the next grade. You could even say some are getting used to their extended ‘vacation’.
It’s different on the Reservation.
When school is not in session, there’s no only the absence of learning, but some kids will have one less meal each day. Food scarcity is a real problem on the Reservation.
The rate of college preparatory for kids is already at a low rate and with lapse of education, some will be lost for good. Slipping through the cracks, indifference, or just plain ole apathy.
With current events like this, why bother?
When school is not in session there is no interaction with teachers. Digital communication is fine as far as it goes, but serves as merely a substitution for a teacher being there for the kids.
It can’t get the job done.
The teachers on the Reservation wear a lot of hats. They’re teachers, observers, role models, and someone who cares. The kids need this in their lives to avoid slipping through the cracks.
The teachers can also spot kids who are not doing well in other areas of life besides just education. They can spot depression, anger, anxiety, and all kinds of abuse and neglect. It’s more than just a school, it serves as a safety net.
With kids and teens that are already at-risk, this serves only to put more pressure on a population that can’t tolerate any more pressure.
At LHNC, we are working every week, all year long with HPDP, other groups, and agencies to help kids not just get back to where they were, but way beyond.
Helping restore the hope, health, and dignity of the kids on the Reservation and beyond is not just a cutesy slogan, it’s a way of life.