Native American kids learn about humanity

YETI club members at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club.
YETI club members at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club.

Article by Jeannie Briones and Kim Kalliber; photos by Jeannie Briones, Tulalip News Staff

The Tulalip Boys & Girls Club has incorporated a new program into their learning curriculum. YETI (Youth Education To Inspire) Tribal is an Internet-based club designed to help children explore their bodies and emotions, and learn about the wonders of humanity. What’s more, these children will be connecting with others around the Northwest via the Internet.

Kids in the YETI club, guided by adult supervision, make a fun-filled journey with children from other cultures, learning the complexity of the human body. The age group ranges from 2nd to 4th grade, and the club currently consists of kids from Tulalip and other reservations located in Spokane, Wash., Warm Springs, Or., and Lapwai, Idaho. Tulalip YETI clubbers meet every Wednesday at the Boys and Girls Club, from 3:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m., to engage in online conversations and activities, along with arts and crafts and games in the Club’s Immersion Room.

These live chats engage kids from all over the Northwest to help each other understand who they are and learn to respect themselves, others, and other cultures, in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

“I like everything about it. We are getting kids together around the Northwest and different reservations to talk about what they like and what they don’t like, and they learn about their bodies, minds, and feelings. What I hope is that this program expands across the entire country. It’s a very good program. So far we are in our second week and the kids love it, they’re having a blast,” said Jay Davis, Tulalip Boys & Girls Club Yeti Club Facilitator and Games Room Coordinator.

Jay, along with Christina Gahringer, Director of Education Technology, for the Club, are currently working with the kids on body exploration. Kids are learning about their bodies and the functions of body organs, such as the heart, lungs, stomach and brain. Students then create a life-size drawing of their bodies, coloring in their inside parts. By learning bodily functions, kids can learn to better appreciate their bodies and to respect them.

“I like learning about the body parts,” said Tulalip Boys & Girls Club member Eian Williams.

YETI club members will also be learning about emotions, such as happy, sad, angry or scared, and the affect they can have on the body. Kids will explore the physical sources and reactions of emotions.

As a whole, YETI is designed to help kids to gain a sense of personal appreciation, to see themselves in others and gain patience and understanding in their relationships, now and in the future.

The YETI Tribal Club is a part of Wholeschool, a non-profit educational organization, started in Spokane, Washington. YETI also operates with support from Tulalip Tribes Charitable Funds.

To learn more about the YETI Club, contact Jay or Christina at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club at 360-716-340 or visit