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Dec 29, 2015

Epic Summer Adventure for 2016

Dear Friends,

We are excited to report that one of our students from Summer Adventure 2015 was recently crowned Jr Miss Gu Vo District of the Tohono O’odham Nation! She is an excellent student with amazing manners and a sharp wit. We are certain she will be a great Jr Miss Gu Vo, and we can't wait to see her back at Summer Adventure 2016!

With great memories and outcomes from our Academic Summer Adventure 2015, we are hard at work planning our 2015 program. Due to the popularity of last summer's program, we are expecting at least 40 students per day. In the desert District of Gu Vo on the Tohono O'odham Nation, the triple digit summer heat and remoteness of area leave little for the kids to do on a well-deserved summer break. Luckily, these young scholars find solace in our Summer Adventure which is held inside a well air conditioned recreation center. The program runs five hours a day, five days a week, for six weeks. Each day students are fed a healthy snack and nutritious lunch. Providing these meals and teaching the kids about healthy eating is key on a Tribal Nation where over 70% of the adult population are living with type 2 diabetes.

Youth from all over Gu Vo District attend the program to receive lessons in reading, writing, mathematics, and STEM activities. Arts and crafts, cultural lessons, and theme weeks also play a major role. This year we have partnered with the Drawing Studio out of Tucson, AZ. An instructor will come to Gu Vo, stay for a week, and teach the students fantastic drawing lessons. When the students are not busy with all of this, they will be taking numerous field trips to educational sites all over Arizona. A few favorite field trips from last summer - the Musical Instrument Museum and the Arizona Science Center.

Over 51% of Tohono O'odham adults have not completed high school. By keeping our students engaged in the summer months through combining education and adventure, we continue our mission to keep these kids in school all the way through college graduation. We see the results of this daily as the kids light up with each new lesson from our after-school and summer programs. Our mission is working, but it is one that is ongoing. We cannot thank you enough for your past support and hope you will consider making another donation as we move forward. Together we can make a huge difference for these bright, amazing, underserved children. 


Dec 17, 2015

NAAF After-School Program a Huge Hit!

Dear Friends,

Thanks to your support, the 2015 Gu Vo Academic After-School Program has been our strongest to date. Fall semester alone, we served over 2,000 healthy meals to students. This is crucial on such a remote tribal nation where healthy food options are few and far between. Our students love the change of pace with a warm, nutritious dinner each evening during the school week.

We spent the summer meeting with celebrated after-school professionals all over the state of Arizona in an effort to refine our program to be as effective as possible. After months of planning and guidance, our program is thriving, with an average of 32 students per day. We are also incredibly fortunate for the volunteerism of the Gu Vo Youth Leadership Council who, along with our staff, mentor the students daily.

Each after-school session is made up of lessons in math, reading, writing, composition, STEM lessons, tribal culture and tradition, art-and-crafts, and play time. Our students cannot wait to get to the program. In fact, they are so happy with it, we have extended our calendar into winter break, taking our 36-week program to 42 weeks. You, the donor, made this (and so much more) happen!

Refining our after-school program to its current, top-notch state, was only the beginning, as we continue to improve and find new ways to give these underserved kids the lessons and tools needed to break the cycle of poverty on the Tohono O’odham Nation. Please consider making another donation to the Native American Advancement Foundation so we can continue this great program into 2016. The beautiful thing about supporting nonprofits is that every action is meaningful. If you are unable to give, please follow us on Facebook by clicking here and/or subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here and filling in the field on the right side of the page.

We truly cannot express how much your support means to us and our young scholars. Together we can make a meaningful difference for these eager students so many have forgotten.


Jim Kober, MPA
Executive Director
Native American Advancement Foundation (NAAF) 

Oct 2, 2015

Summer Adventure Class of 2015!

Dear Friends,

Our 6-week academic Summer Adventure has come to an end. We could not have hoped for a better group of kids, volunteers, and staff. These dedicated youth worked hard each day to improve their reading, writing, math, and science skills. They also attended multiple educational field trips, including: the Arizona Science Center, the Musical Instrument Museum, the local Border Patrol station, the Tohono O'odham Cultural Center and Museum, and IMAX. On the second-to-last day, the Tohono O'odham Fire Department swung by for a "wet-down" where they soaked the campers with a fire hose. Needless to say, this is always a huge hit with the kids!

Although we are sad to see the campers go, we are excited to share with you plenty of photos and testimonials. We asked these youth what they liked best about Summer Adventure, what they would like to see in next year's camp, and if they plan on coming back. After all, this is their Summer Adventure, and they know how to share the experience better than anyone. So, without further delay, we present to you, NAAF's 2015 Summer Adventure as told by our amazing, intelligent, studious, and smiling young campers:

"I really liked doing the math on the laptops, because it helped me with my math skills. I like reading, too! I want to thank everyone that ran the program, especially Trevor for cooking for us." - Zoe (age 6)

"My favorite part of the camp was learning. Also, I like coming to the recreation center. I liked the healthy food we ate. It was very good. I liked camp because every day is a new day for new activities. I would have liked to attend a basketball game in a stadium. I also would've liked to see the ocean, because I want to see the boats and birds" - Idynna (age 7)

"My favorite was when we went on the elevator!" Aldrina (age 7)

"My favorite part was reading on the computer and eating!" - Damian (age 6)

"The best was going to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. I love music. I love this camp because it is fun. We do math, reading, and writing in our journals. I think other kids should come to Summer Adventure. I also think we should play with water balloons next year!" - Autumn (age 11) 

"I most liked the part when we play games with the staff. I also liked going on field trips, learning and seeing new things. I didn't like that the program was only five hours a day. I wish it could've been longer." - Demetri (age 5)

"I liked when we danced Cumbia in the multipurpose room. That was fun. I loved all the arts and crafts, too. I plan on coming back next year." - Jaleesa (age 8)

"My favorite part is to go to math." - Keira (age 8)

"I like that we get to go on the laptop and do reading and math." - Dilah (age 8)

"I like math and reading on the laptops." - Rose (age 9)

Q: What was your favorite part of camp?
A: Getting wet by the firefighter.
Q: Why?
A: Because I got soaked and wet!
Q: What would you like to see at next year's camp?
A: Water balloons!
Q: Why is that?
A: Because we can get wet by them and cool down.
Q: That makes sense. Will you be coming back next year?
A: I would love to come back!
Q: That's great! Why?
A: Because we learn.
- Amoni (age 9)

In case you are wondering, 100% of our campers stated they would return next year! Oh, and it looks like we may have to extend our hours, according to Demetri! :)

We honestly cannot wait for next summer. We will be ready for these great kids with an even stronger program!

Thank you all for your support. You truly have made the best kind of difference in these kids' lives. We are so grateful to you!

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