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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Indigenous children's book will tackle what Covid-19 is like for kids

The working front page of up coming children's book in the works from the Wind River Reservation. (Spring 2022)
Rose Pecos-SunRhodes

The Wyoming Arts Councilselected four artists to create original work that will inspire people to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

The artists selected are awarded around $10,000 to realize their projects.

In Fort Washakie, Rosa Pecos-SunRhodes has been a middle and elementary school teacher for 15 years. She is one of the four artists selected and is working on a children’s book.

Pecos-SunRhodes said kids have been adversely affected emotionally by losing relatives over the Covid-19 pandemic. The book focuses on a young Indigenous girl named Magpie. The book follows Magpie as she learns that it's important to help keep her family safe.

“Some of them have lost their grandparents and siblings and aunts and uncles. And this just feels like an opportunity to create a tool for kids to understand and being able to build that through the storytelling,” she said.

SunRhodes wants to include pages in the back of the book so kids can write about Covid-19 and how it affected them. Jared SunRhodes, Rose’s son, is a ledger artist and is contributing to art in the children's book.

The Wyoming Arts Council received a $75,000 grant from the Center for Disease Control Foundation. The other artists are Jared Rogerson a musician from Pinedale and Janissa Marie Analissia Marinez a writer from Laramie.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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