Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A School Program At The Warehouse

by April Wilsey

On May 1, 2012, while the Many Farms, Tsaile, and Pinon food runs were taking place, the third grade classes from Wasatch Peak Academy in North Salt Lake joined our office manager, Joyce Trapman, and several volunteers for a presentation about what preparations are necessary to have the food runs, as well as what happens on a food run.

The students brought in many canned goods and other items for us to take to the Elders.  Since the Big Mountain, Teesto, and Sanders food runs hadn’t taken place yet, the 48 third graders, 2 teachers and 8 parents were able to see all of the boxes that were still in the warehouse and going out to the Navajo locations on Friday.
April Wilsey welcomed the students and adults to the warehouse and told them how the program started 24 years ago when Linda Myers took her first load of canned goods to Big Mountain.  She also shared some hand woven rugs and Navajo jewelry.  This was followed up with Joyce talking about the many volunteers and Elder sponsors that help from around the world.  She had also put up an enlarged map of the Navajo Reservation and marked the areas where we take the food on the food runs.

Art Sleeper talked about how the food is boxed at the warehouse and then taken by volunteers to the Navajo food run locations, and Sandy Sleeper showed pictures of Elders at the food runs.  These pictures included shots of the land and the food boxes in the Rainbow arc.

Beverly Benally explained the meaning of the juniper berry necklaces and how they offer protection for people wearing them.  Then we passed out juniper berry necklaces, as giveaways, to all of the students and adults.  Of course, they put them on immediately and shared them with their friends.

After the presentation, we broke up the students into 3 groups.  The groups rotated to these activities:

The students made cards for the Elders to be sent with their donations.
Beverly showed the students some raw wool and how to spin it.  She also shared her mother’s double weave rug.
Art was able to show the students how to weave and then had them do some weaving on the double- sided loom.
Bobbi Lees read Navajo stories to the students and shared her experiences on the food runs, as well as played Rodger Williams’ Navajo Language CD where the students were able to count to ten in Navajo.
We, at ANE, were very happy to have Wasatch Peak Academy join us, and want to thank them for all that they did in gathering donations for the Elders.

(Note: April is head of the Amasani program at ANE. Learn more about what ANE has to offer for children.)


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