Connor on Ibdag Tas(Heart Day)
Greetings from Native American Advancement Foundation in GuVo District, Tohono O'odham Nation! Our team continues to be in awe of YOU and your support for students.
For Spring 2021, the NAAF team and GuVo District student families are creating, connecting and planting new seeds for a beautiful year.
NAAF's Summer Adventure program is on pause, but we want to share our updates for the After School Program (ASP). The ASP continues to serve all children in the District (122 youth) through a direct household delivery service, 5 days a week. The remote delivery program of meals and enrichment academic, prevention and cultural education operates under Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, as well as the Tohono O’odham Nation (TON) executive order during COVID-19.
Students rely on NAAF’s daily service as a vital point of contact for academic mentorship, primary prevention and cultural identity role-modeling. Selina Jesus (NAAF Sr. Director of Programs and Tribal Relations) and Adriana Fitts (NAAF Program Coordinator) lead the daily programming and are trusted mentors to GuVo District young people. The team provides academic work with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Math (STEAM), art, Tohono O’odham language and culture, evidence-based prevention curriculum, family support tools and hands-on activities through packets.
For example, in February (photos) Adriana Fitts led joyous Ibdág Tas (Heart Day) projects! Providing materials via packets and videos, Addy and students worked to "Keep Your Heart Happy" in collaboration with NAAF's After School Program and the Healthy People Coalition. Addy created videos with a greeting in Tohono O'odham and English, followed by how-to videos on ibdág pana:l (heart bee), ibdág ju:kî mad (heart lady bug) and a DaVinci bridge.
The GuVo Community Remote Learning Center, led by Monica Cleveland (NAAF Director of Student Services) has expanded services to the Ali Chugk community! This is the southern part of the GuVo District, close to the U.S.-Mexico border. Monica and her team provide tutoring and emotional support tools, healthy snacks, laptops and mobile internet connectivity. The RLC serve as vital liaisons between student families and the regional school network.
The ASP’s learning site, Ruth’s Garden has also expanded for 2021. The NAAF team and GuVo District gardeners kicked off the growing season by hosting family planting sessions. This was a beautiful way to connect families through food culture and science cycles, while maintaining social distancing. Ruth’s Garden started last year during the pandemic and is a hugely popular outdoor classroom for the ASP (photo of Aurora planing blue corn and melons).
The youth led skateboarding group, Endure have had an amazing spring (photos). They successfully secure a second grant for the skatepark and led a community clean up day. Materials were recycled as a fundraiser and families were able to show their support for the future skatepark community space.
We look forward to sharing more in the coming months.
S'apo ~ Thank you.
Jessenia & Damian on Ibdag Tas(Heart Day)
Talina, Xzavier & David on Ibdag Tas(Heart Day)
Cal on Ibdag Tas(Heart Day)
Aurora in Ruth's Garden Family Planting Day
Endure Skateboard Group
Elijah, Endure Skateboard Group
Andre, Endure Skateboard Group