prizes for Easter egg hunt IMG 1395 

Palm Sunday weekend found Jeff and I up on the Ridge to assist with the annual Easter Egg Hunt. After a late night on Friday of stuffing Easter Eggs and creating over 150 Easter Baskets, we woke to chilly weather on Saturday morning. The hunt was held at the Crazy Horse School. Over 100children arrived to hunt a field filled with eggs. Along with an Easter Basket for each child we had 7 bikes, 4 razor scooters, 4 trikes and 3 wagons.

Hidden in the eggs were handwritten small slips of paper with the big prizes written on them. After the Easter Egg Hunt the children returned to the building to collect their prizes, get an Easter basket or a basketball, a bag of food, shoes and of course a meal. (To see more photos please go to https://www.FamiliesWorkingTogether.org)

We formed a line and the children came through 1 at a time with prize slips in hand. I looked up to see Bessie, one of the younger children I had worked with at Crazy Horse. Bessie looked behind me and saw the bikes. She looked me in the eye and said in her politest voice. “I would like a bike, please, Dr. Dee.”

I answered, “Bessie do you have a slip for a bike?”

Bessie hung her head and sadly said, “No! I’ll take an Easter Basket, thank you.” Bessie walked away with her little head hanging down.

I continued to greet children and pass out prizes and baskets. I looked up and there was Bessie back in line. This time she has a large sheet of lined paper in her hands. She walks up and hands me thepaper. “I’d like a bike, please Dr. Dee!” There on the paper in Bessie’s best primary handwriting in large letters are the word B-I-C. (bike) Bessie is a child who struggles daily at school. She beganthe year not knowing any letters and making little to no association between sounds and letters. At times Bessie refuses to read or write.

It broke my heart, “Oh Bessie, this is really good writing. It is not our prize slip, though. Ours are small. I’m proud of this writing. Look at B for the B sound and a I. Do you remember, long I has 2 vowels going walking or a magic E. Which do you think this is?”

“Magic E”, she says.
“Yes” I answered. “Now what else makes the ‘K’ sound?”
‘”Oh a K”, she says.
“Yes” I answered, “So how do we spell bike?”
“B-I-K-E “She shouts. “Now I’d like my bike, please.”
“OH, Bessie, I still can’t give you a bike. There is someone in line with a slip for the bikes.” Bessie walked away again, head hanging low. I held onto Bessie’s paper. I returned to the line of children, this time blinking back tears. The line seems endless and I look up and there is Bessie again in front of me. This time she has a small piece of paper. On it written in her best handwriting in B-I-K-E. (Still not our prize slip-but Bessie is trying). Once again, I have to refuse Bessie a bike. This time I look up and see Jeff watching the exchange. We exchanged looks and he knew I was struggling.

We gave out all the prizes that day and had a few baskets to send over to Potato Creek for the children there. No bike for Bessie, not yet anyway. So, I am sending out a plea. We need bikes, trikes, razor scooter and wagons. These can be new, or they could be the ones cluttering your garage-because your children have out grown them and they are still in good working condition. If you live near Omaha. I will gladly pick them up or will arrange for someone to pick them up. You can drop them off at our house. I will gladly deliver them to Wanblee. Please, contact me privately through my email for drop off or pick up services.   

A bike gives children freedom to leave homes at times that are not healthy. It gives them mobility to get to activities at school or the building if they miss the bus. We will be doing a clean-up day later this spring My goal is that children can earn a bike that day, if they help gather trash and plant flowers in Wanblee. We want them to see their efforts can make a difference. Please if you have a bike consider sending it our way.

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