Tatanka’s Healthy Tales awarded for diversity, relevance
SDSU Extension’s Tatanka’s Healthy Tales was recognized by the National Extension Association – Family & Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) division with the Mary W. Wells Memorial Diversity Award during the 2015 Annual Conference in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. This was only possible after receiving the Excellence in Families Award from the South Dakota affiliate of NEAFCS.
Tatanka’s Healthy Tales is an engaging educational coloring book for first and second-grade developed by SDSU Extension educators, Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food & Families Program Director and SNAP-Ed Director and Karlys Wells, SDSU Extension Program Associate and Project Coordinator.
“We designed Tatanka’s Healthy Tales for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) as a resource to engage American Indian families and educators by including culturally appropriate images, language and topics,” Wells explained.
Tatanka’s Healthy Tales received the award based on its implementation of the curriculum, which met the objectives of the annual memorial award:
to provide relevant educational programs to an increasingly diverse population and to recognize outstanding professionals who have made significant efforts in the area of diversity.
Tatanka’s Healthy Tales is a softcover workbook developed in response to requests for teaching resources that are sensitive to Native American youth and their culture. Implementers include SDSU Extension 4H Youth Advisors, Expanded Food & Nutrition Education (EFNEP) and SNAP Nutrition Assistants, elementary teachers and after school program staff.
“Tatanka’s Healthy Tales has been used to teach nutrition and healthy lifestyles across the state,” Stluka said.
The activity book features Curly, a wise and healthy buffalo, who coaches his young American Indian friend, Max, to eat well and be physically active. The book features creative drawings and text in the Lakota and Dakota language.
Audio recordings of the languages assist teachers who are not fluent Lakota or Dakota speakers to introduce the youth to the dialects.
Classroom quantities of the workbooks and audio files are available to educators who will implement and provide pre- and post-feedback.
“This resource has attracted attention from tribal leaders in South Dakota and even the Native Diabetes Program of the Centers for Disease Control. We are pleased to be able to provide it,” Stluka said.