| Feb 19, 2024
NAAF"s Summer Program Updates!
With Summer Adventure Camp in the rearview mirror until next year, the District transitioned from summer into fall by celebrating! October 9th was Indigenous Peoples Day as people took time to celebrate the O’odham himdag (way of life), and give thanks to all the ancestors, families and individuals who have shared their knowledge, wisdom, and faith so that we may continue to carry their strength forward with courage, perseverance, and determination.
The District also held a Fall Festival on 10/27 filled with fun and information. There were games and prizes for the District’s children and youth, as well as information booths from such valued partners as the Healthy People Coalition, First Things First, the Community Development Financial Institution of the Tohono O’odham Nation and the TON Division of Special Needs for their families. The festival focused on promoting prevention on the Tohono O'odham Nation, as well as continuing to build strong community relationships, traditions and encouraging connections.
And the season just wouldn’t be the same without kids dressed in their Halloween costumes and having a chance to spend time with Santa! Halloween was a blast and NAAF needs to share many thanks with its partners, parents and staff and their efforts to make the season safe and fun. Winter would bring Santa and his elves to the District as part of NAAF’s education programs but not before the District’s preschoolers got to be in a holiday parade. NAAF was invited to have a float in the Tohono O’odham Nation’s “Very Magical Christmas Light Parade in Sells, AZ on 12/4. Staff, parents, and volunteers would spend the day getting NAAF’s entry ready so that the kids could participate in the parade festivities.
To close out the holiday season, NAAF would also host two separate Hot Cocoa Socials in GuVo (12/20) and Ali Chugk (12/21). As noted, the events were hosted at the NAAF Campus in Gu Vo and at the Al Jek Recreation Center in Ali Chugk. There were games and goodies for all to enjoy, as well as facetime with Santa.
Of course, not everything this past Fall centered on the holidays, much like the Summer Adventure Program, Tohono O’odham culture continued to be front and center in the District. On 12/16 NAAF hosted the traditional men’s game of Wuicuda at the Free As a Bird Skatepark. Wuicuda is a kickball game that has been passed down through generations and holds cultural significance, that is used to engage both the physical skills and mental focus of the District’s young men.
Finally, a big Congratulations and job well done to The Store staff and all the volunteers that were recognized by the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona as they received and distributed 24,113 pounds of food in GuVo this year. The Store is a critical component in the District’s Food Sovereignty efforts, and these types of partnerships are an invaluable resource in not only getting food on the table but also making traditional foods accessible to community members.