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Elders Wisdom, Children's Song Partner Programs

West Metro Education Program (WMEP)

The mission of WMEP is to build the collective capacity of its members; to raise the achievement of all students; to eliminate the racial achievement gap; and to prepare all learners to thrive in a diverse world through regional leadership, integrated learning opportunities, shared resources, and mutual support.

To learn more about the program, visit wmep.k12.mn.us.

Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™ South Dakota

Children in South DakotaFor over a decade, the communities of Spearfish and Custer, South Dakota, have used the Elders Wisdom, Children’s Song™ educational model to help bring together different generations in their communities. Elders share their lives with elementary school students, who then take those stories and write a narrative of the elder's life and, with the help of a regional songwriter, compose a song to honor the elder.


Beginning in 1999, East Elementary School has honored dozens of elders from the community through their annual Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song programs.

Custer, South Dakota

Beginning with the 2005-2006 school year, Custer Elementary School has honored elders from their community through their annual Elders' Wisdom, Children's Songs programs.

In 2008, SDPB’s Dakota Life series visited Custer, South Dakota, to capture the interviews and Community Celebration of Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song. Watch an excerpt from the piece:

To learn more about the program and see recent celebrations, visit www.elderswisdomchildrenssongsouthdakota.com.