Rural America Initiatives receives a grant to expand classes

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RAPID CITY S.D. (KEVN) - Rural America Initiatives receives hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach the language of the Lakotas by adding two new classes.

Rural America Initiatives was granted nearly $483,000 by Headstart to create two Lakota language classes for toddlers. Even the staff and board members are excited to learn the language too.

The organization will hire six teachers to help teach 30 students at both locations on Valley Drive and Crazy Horse Street.

The classes will also be extended to full day services to help accommodate parents' work schedules.

The executive director Bruce LongFox, said in the last few years, more people are taking a step to save the language before it goes extinct.

"Language is the expression of how you see the world and even though we see ourselves as Native Americans. There's a whole different world view that comes with using Lakota language to express what the world is all about," LongFox said.

The classes will start June first.