SGU Pilots Theater and Writing Projects

Nov 15th, 1999 | By | Category: 11-2: Teacher Education, Tribal College News

Sinte Gleska University is participating in two collaborative projects intended to increase students’ creative potential, and both are pilots for other tribal colleges. Project HOOP provides theater classes. The Sicangu Writing Project improves the teaching of writing.

Project HOOP (Honoring Our Origins and People through Native Theatre, Education and Community Development) is a collaborative project between Sinte Gleska University and the University of California at Los Angeles American Indian Studies Center, with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. They developed curriculum, including introduction to Native American theatre, development of Native American theatre in tribal communities, and a theatre practicum.

College of the Menominee Nation has joined Project HOOP as the first dissemination site for the new classes. Other tribal colleges that want to introduce Project HOOP Native American Theatre courses on their campus should contact Jeff Kellogg at Sinte Gleska University, PO Box 8, Mission SD 57555-0008 or by e-mail at <>

Through its participation in the Ford Foundation-funded Rural Community College Initiative (RCCI), Sinte Gleska University has moved toward becoming the first writing project site of the National Writing Project (NWP) located at a tribal college. Founded in 1974 in the San Francisco Bay Area, and headquartered at the University of California-Berkeley, the NWP seeks to improve the teaching of writing (and thus impact student retention and academic success) in all subject areas and all grade levels, kindergarten through university.

The NWP has local writing project sites in nearly all 50 United States and its territories. The Dakota Writing Project, located at the University of South Dakota-Vermillion, is the NWP site in South Dakota. Kim Karaff and Todd Williams, Sicangu Writing Project (SWP) co-directors and English instructors at Sinte Gleska, attended the 1999 Dakota Writing Project for one week in early June and gave presentations on their teaching techniques.

Later in June, they held the first Sicangu Writing Project. Thirteen participants from the two school systems serving the Rosebud Reservation, Todd County School District and St. Francis Indian School, presented their best practices for teaching writing. Sicangu Writing Project participants learned fresh strategies for teaching writing. Future plans include inviting participants from other tribal colleges to share this model. For more information, contact Todd Williams at Sinte Gleska University (605) 856-2321.

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