Making Reading Fun 

At White River Elementary in White River, South Dakota, on the Rosebud Reservation, Razzyel takes part in the school’s Literacy service, which is supported by PWNA’s American Indian Education Fund® (AIEF) program. Razzyel works hard on her reading skills, reading to her grandparents at home and reading with other students at school. Thanks to support from the AIEF Literacy service, the younger kids at her school get reading buddies and then move on to reading in groups, encouraging a love of reading within each other. 

Making Reading Fun 

“Reading is really fun,” said 6-year-old Razzyel. “I like learning from the stories.” Razzyel attends White River Elementary in White River, South Dakota, on the Rosebud Reservation. As our Program Partner, Principal Cella H. helps support her students through the American Indian Education Fund® (AIEF), a program of Partnership With Native Americans® (PWNA). Through the AIEF Literacy service, students receive books and incentives to encourage a love of reading, as well as reading time with an older adult or mentor. Studies show that reading improves comprehension and overall academic performance. 

“I work really hard on reading,” Razzyel assured us. At home, she reads all kinds of books to her grandparents. At school, she enjoys “Dr. Seuss Day” where they eat green eggs and ham and read in groups.  

Her school offers activities and incentives year-round to make learning fun for the kids. All 150 students at the school are eligible to take part in the Literacy service, starting with reading buddies in the younger grades and moving on to classroom and group activities.  

Razzyel is headed into the second grade this fall, and she already has plans for after high school. She dreams of staying in White River and being a hairstylist for the community.  

Cella has served as principal of White River Elementary for the past decade and is thankful for her partnership with PWNA. She shared, “The Literacy service is a great opportunity for our students. [It] has done wonderful things to improve the way students read, and the kids look forward to reading.” 

White River Elementary used to be on a school improvement program, but Cella has seen great improvement since partnering with PWNA in 2014. Cella told us, “We can’t do anything without the donors. We think they’re awesome!” 

PWNA’s education services help address the unequal opportunities that hinder future generations and emerging leaders who could positively impact tribal communities. You can support students like Razzyel through our AIEF program. 

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