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Jun 9, 2016

What an Amazing Year for Our Youth!

Wow. What an incredible year for the Native American Advancement Foundation’s Gu Vo Academic After-School program! We averaged over 30 youth per session, improved our students' math, reading, writing, science (and other STEM activities) skills and didn’t have one student drop out of our program or school. This is fantastic, as the Tohono O’odham Nation battles a dropout rate of over 51%.

This amazing school year would never have been possible without your support. We hope you will consider continuing on this journey with us. This work is as beautiful as it is important, and we see real, positive change 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, and they always hate to leave. 

This year we served over 3,600 healthy snacks and 3,600 healthy dinners prepared using the Mayo Clinic Cookbook for kids. The kids loved the food and learning about healthy living.

Moving forward, it is our hope to partner with other districts on the Tohono O’odham Nation to implement their own after-school programs based on our model, which combines physical and psychological safety, supportive relationships, appropriate structure, opportunities to belong, positive social norms, support for efficacy and mattering, opportunities for skill building, and integration of family, school, and community efforts.

Again, the success of our programs is not possible without the selfless, generous donations from people like you. Thank you SO much!

Mar 29, 2016

Summer Adventure is Coming

Dear Friends,

We are in the mid-planning stages for another great Academic Summer Adventure. We are so grateful to you for your past donations and hope you will continue down this path with us as we move into the summer months and our Gu Vo Academic Summer Adventure. This year we are continuing our partnership with the modern, beautiful Al Jek Recreation Center to host our program.

The goal of the program is to continue academic lessons in the summer, build our youths’ self-esteem, spark curiosity, and shape strong, healthy, contributing members of society. June 6, 2016, marks the start of the sixth year of the program, which benefits 60 students per day, 5 days a week, for six weeks. The program will focus on teaching reading, writing, math, technology, science and other STEM activities, and health education. Also incorporated are the teaching and development of traditional Tohono O'odham art, handcrafts, language, gardening, and cultural history. The program also combines physical and psychological safety, supportive relationships, appropriate structure, athletics, opportunities to belong, positive social norms, support for efficacy and mattering, opportunities for skill building, and integration of family, school, and community efforts into the program. We follow these and all of the Arizona Quality Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs.

Below are some great quotes from our students about last year's program:

"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)

The excitement in the village is building to see what we come up with this year. One thing is for certain, this will be our best year to date, as we strive to make each year better than the last! Please join us is supporting this amazing kids! 

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Mar 10, 2016

Another Home Run for the After-School Program

Dear Friends,

The Native American Advancement Foundation's (NAAF) Gu Vo Academic After-School Program is going strong for Spring Semester 2016. We are averaging over 30 youth per day, and our students are loving the academic, fitness, and arts and crafts lessons. Gu Vo District on the Tohono O'odham Nation is tucked away in a gorgeous run of Arizona desert that is many, many miles from anywhere. While this distance lends to the amazing beauty and serenity of the District, it also leaves young students who wish to explore the world outside with few options, especially if their family lacks a vehicle. We make up for this in the after-school program by taking these great students on field trips to places like the University of Arizona, Biosphere 2, and even a Phoenix Suns NBA game where members of the Gu Vo Youth Council performed traditional Tohono O'odham singing and dancing during halftime!

Speaking of our Youth Council, these young leaders comprised of local high school students have been an amazing addition to our program, showing up daily to lend a hand with anything and everything from helping the younger students with their homework to daily set up and break down of our space. The Youth Council are amazing mentors. When the younger students see these older students succeeding and leading, they are inspired to follow the same path, and they know through determination and study they too can get there. 

You, the donor, made this happen! We appreciate your support greatly and ask that you consider us when donating in the future. The success of our students is only possible if you join us on this journey. 

We recently asked our students what they thought about the after-school program and living in Gu Vo. Here is what they had to say:

NAAF: What is your favorite things about living in Gu Vo District?
River (age 16): Helping the little kids and being O'odham.
Zackery (age 5): My mom and dad.
Jaeney (age 15): It's really fun hanging out and helping with the program. And the landscape of Gu Vo...it's pretty at any time of the day. 
Raymanda (age 15): Being here at the after-school program!

NAAF: What is your favorite subject to study?
Elijah (age 12): Science is my favorite, because we get to do fun stuff!
Zackery (age 5): Math!!!
Malachie (age 8): Math, because I learn a lot! 

NAAF: Tell us how the older kids help with the program.
Laci (age 8): I love them. They help us with our homework!
Elijah (age 12): They're cool. I want to be like them someday and help kids like me with homework. 

Thank you for taking the time to read our report, and thank you for your support. Please sign up for updates from our webpage at the link below. After clicking the link and being directed to our website, the sign-up field is on the right side of the page. 

Kindly,

Jim Kober, MPA
Executive Director
Native American Advancement Foundation (NAAF)
520.331.2664
jkober@inaaf.org
NativeAmericanAdvancement.org
NAAF Facebook

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