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Native American Academic Summer Program

by Native American Advancement Foundation
Native American Academic Summer Program
Native American Academic Summer Program
Native American Academic Summer Program
Native American Academic Summer Program
Native American Academic Summer Program
Native American Academic Summer Program
Native American Academic Summer Program
Native American Academic Summer Program
Native American Academic Summer Program
Native American Academic Summer Program

Dear Friends,

To say that southwestern Arizona gets hot in the summertime would be an understatement. With temperatures reaching as high as 115 degrees, it's all to easy to fall into the summer doldroms, and out in the remote Gu Vo District of the Tohono O'odham Nation, there isn't a whole lot for kids to do when it's too hot to play outside. Luckily, NAAF has a solution for the summer doldroms; our Academic Summer Adventure Program! 

The goal of the Gu Vo Summer Adventure Program is to promote education, build our youths’ self-esteem, spark curiosity, and shape strong, healthy, contributing members of society. The program focuses on teaching reading, math, technology, and health education. Also incorporated are the teaching and development of traditional Tohono O’odham art, handcrafts, language, gardening, and cultural history. Through the use of Cubelets (robotic building blocks that behave differently depending on how they are assembled) the children are taught beginning Robotics and Programming as they build and experiment. Between class periods, students will break for healthy snacks and exercise. Each day will provide the students with an active schedule that will enrich them both mentally and physically.

Our Acadmic Summer Adventure Program provides a safe, air conditioned place for students to go each weekday to learn, play and receive a healthy meal and snack. The students will take field trips to educational hotspots such as Kitt Peak, The Pima Air & Space Museum, Biosphere 2, as well as important locations on the reservation such as the historic village Kukatch—ancestral lands where the kids learn respect for elders and basic survival techniques.

The students, parents, and NAAF staff always have a great time during this program, and this year we are on track to serve more students than any previous year, with as many as 80 possilbe participants. We will keep you posted with pictures, stories and short bios about our students once the program is underway. As always, thank you so much for supporting the amazing students of the Gu Vo District. They face many unique challenges, and your donations help to give them the opportunities and rescources that they so need and deserve. Thank you!

Dear Friends,

As I write to you, the temperature in the Gu Vo District is 80 degrees, but that's chilly by our standards! As 2017 winds down to a close, NAAF has so much to be grateful for, and also to be proud of. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, and the hard work of our staff and volunteers, NAAF has continued to grow in its mission to strengthen the Gu Vo Communities in the areas of education, health and wellness, housing, food sustainability, environment, animal welfare, and opening economic opportunities on tribal lands. We have so much to tell you about what we have been up to!

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, our small staff of 2 full time and one part time employees and 25 wonderful volunteers, NAAF has been privilaged to support the Gu Vo communities in 2017 by:

• Providing educational services to over 60 students in a district where the dropout rate is over 50%.

•Providing 3570 healthy and delicious meals, and 2288 snacks in our After School Program

• Driving a total of 12,739 to provide transportation to those in need, and pick up groceries

• Helping 7 young volunteers get their drivers licenses

As we enter the season of giving, there is so much that can be done to continue changing the lives of those who have so little. You can help:

A donation of $50 will sponsor fuel for one trip to the grocery store to buy food for one week.

A donation of $75 pays for one week of school for one student to work on a high school diploma through our Virtual Learning Center.

A donation of $100 will feed 20 students for one week in our After School Program.

A donation of $750 will pay for one educational field trip for the kids in our Summer Adventure Program.

The Store

We are excited to announce the opening of The Store in GuVo Village! The Store was started in response to community members’ need for access to food, previously a 90- mile drive away. The Store is a 900-square foot retail grocery market stocking basic food, hygiene, and household items. Now, instead of an extra long drive to the grocery store, community members can shop for their basic needs. The Store also serves as a job training and resume building opportunity. Young women and men who have participated in the NAAF programs are able to volunteer and work at The Store. The Store provides a place where young people can work, supplement their income, help provide for their families, receive job training, and build their resumes for future employment opportunities.

Gu Vo District Youth Council 

The GuVo District Youth Council played a vital role in the success of NAAF's programs. This dedicated group of student mentors volunteered countless hours for numerous events NAAF hosted this past year. Their community outreach with NAAF’s After School program involved teaching traditional songs and social round dancing, living drug and alcohol free lifestyles, creating awareness about suicide prevention, and engaging youth in outdoor recreational activities. The Council hosted a youth conference themed "Empowering our youth through love and culture one heartbeat at a time.” They held an overnight camp for Honoring Veterans through O'odham Voices, as well as a Saguaro Fruit Harvest overnight camp. They organized a Get Out The Vote campaign, community clean ups, Fun Runs with Diabetes Awareness workshops, and a spiritual run. These fun and educational gatherings included traditional games, cultural sharing, storytelling, and guest speakers. The events were All-Ages and averaged between 75-100 participants.

Virtual Learning Center
At over 50%, dropout rates within the Tohono O'odham Nation are among the highest in the country. Students often drop out due to circumstances beyond their control, though they would like to earn their diplomas. Through a partnership with Grad Solutions, our Virtual Learning Center provides students the opportunity to earn their diplomas at their own pace, through online instruction. We are excited to report that our Grad Solutions program is now at full enrollment!

 

Thanks to your generous donations, 2017 has been a great year for NAAF. We hope to make 2018 even better, and with your help, we can make that happen. Thank you so much!

Happy Holidays from all of us at NAAF!

Check out what NAAF has been up to!

NAAF had a fun and successful summer!

Youth Council

NAAF assisted the Tohono O'odham Nation's Youth Council with their annual youth conference in Sells, Arizona.  The theme this year was "Empowering our youth through love and himdag (culture); One heartbeat at a time."  The conference took place over a period of two days June 29-30, 2017.  The youth conference served as a tool to encourage, foster, and strengthen our Nation's youth to become great leaders in their own way in their communities, districts, and most importantly in their individual lives.  This year there were more than 200 attendees.

Unity Conference 

This summer we sponsored our Youth Council’s participation in UNITY, the largest and oldest Native youth network organization in the country. At the Unity conference, Native youth have the opportunity to engage in a series of regional and national youth leadership trainings that provide a plan for developing and implementing service projects in their communities. Last year UNITY celebrated 40 years! Today we begin anew - ready to continue to grow and expand NAAF’s service mission to empower youth. UNITY has grown to 165 youth councils in 36 states, and this year's conference attendance was the largest, with more than 1,800 Native youth and advisors from all over the United States, including Hawaii, Alaska, and also Korea.

 

 

 

Biosphere2 Summer Science Academy

Thanks to a generous grant, four students representing the Tohono O’odham Nation attended the Biosphere 2 Summer Science Academy. Thirty-two high school students from at least four countries lived and learned on the Biosphere 2 campus. In this unique educational experience, students studied earth and ecosystem sciences, participated in hands-on research projects and experiments, and collected data while working side-by side with Biosphere2 researchers. The program culminated with the students making a formal presentation of their research findings. The participants involved in Biosphere2 each received a $2095 scholarship for completing the program.

 

Academic Summer Adventure

Thank you for providing the students of GuVo District another academically enriching and stimulating summer!  Our summer started with one week of day camp at Truck of Love Camp with over 140 students attending. The camp included fitness, cultural crafts, teaching of health through fun games, breakfast and lunch, and was operated by a team of over 30 volunteers. The Academic Summer Adventure Program operated for 6 weeks through a partnership with the Al Jek Rec Center, where 40 students received daily tutorials in math and reading.  The students’ favorite trips this summer included Biosphere2 in Tucson and OdySea Aquarium in Phoenix.

 

Summer Highlights

  • Healthy People Coalition is accepting new members to complete sectors

  • Collaborating with Healthy O’odham Promotion Program (HOPP) with the Desert Run Under the Sun Marathon
  • Walking Group Started!
  • Community Clean Up hosted by Youth Council
  • Western Area Youth Conference
  • Attended Language Revitalization Workshop in Flagstaff
  • Summer Garden Harvesting
  • 420 Meals Served this summer
  • 1,397 Miles driven to grocery store this summer
  • 1st ever Vacation Bible School

The school year has come to an end, and it’s mid-June in the Sonoran Desert. Temperatures are soaring over 100 degrees. For the kids living in the district of Gu Vo on the Tohono O’odham Reservation, it can be difficult to find fun, productive activities during the summer months, but NAAF has the solution: The Gu Vo Academic Summer Adventure Program (SAP)!

This year NAAF has once again partnered with the Al Jek Recreation Center in Menager’s Dam, Gu Vo for our summer program. Al Jek is a great, newer facility, with its own kitchen, multi-purpose rooms, play area, and even a pool! We are excited to incorporate swimming lessons into this year’s curriculum. What a great way to cool off, and stay active!

The goal of the program is to continue academic lessons through the summer, build our youths’ self-esteem, spark curiosity, and shape strong, healthy, contributing members of society. June 12, 2017, marked the start of the seventh year of the program, which benefits 40 students per day for six weeks. The program focuses 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. This summer we are also teaching the youth how to say no to underage drinking and substance abuse through the evidence based “Too Good for Drugs and Violence” curriculum.

Every year we get a great response from the kids enrolled in the program. For many, it is one of the only times during the year when they will have the opportunity to explore outside of the reservation, and we have some really exciting field trips lined up this year, with trips to the Biosphere 2, Kitt Peak Observatory, the Tohono O’odham Truck of Love, and a few cultural heritage sites.

With your help, we are bringing another great summer program to the amazing kids of the Gu Vo District in 2017. Going forward, as our programs continue to grow and inspire, we hope to branch out to the other districts of the Tohono O’odham Nation who so desperately need healthy, safe, educational, and creative outlets, especially during the summer months when school is not in session.

All of us at NAAF truly appreciate your help with funding for our programs. Your generous donations have helped to make the programs a success, and we are extremely grateful. Thank you!

Dear Friends,

Summer is just around the corner, and NAAF is getting ready for our Gu Vo Academic Summer Adventure. This year we hope to have even more participants, and we will be partnering once again with the Al Jek Recreation Center, which is a great new facility, and conveniently located for the community.

The goal of the Gu Vo Academic Summer Adventure Program is to promote education, build our youths’ self-esteem, spark curiosity, and shape strong, healthy, contributing members of society. The program focuses on teaching reading, math, technology, and health education. Also incorporated are the teaching and development of traditional Tohono O’odham art, handcrafts, language, gardening, and cultural history.

The students will take field trips to educational hotspots such as Kitt Peak, The Pima Air & Space Museum, and Biosphere 2, as well as important locations on the reservation such as the historic village Kukatch—ancestral lands where the kids learn respect for elders and basic survival techniques.

Through the use of Cubelets (robotic building blocks that behave differently depending on how they are assembled) the children are taught beginning Robotics and Programming as they build and experiment. Between class periods, students will break for healthy snacks and exercise. Each day will provide the students with an active schedule that will enrich them both mentally and physically.

For 2016’s Summer Adventure Program, NAAF teamed up with the USDA and Arizona Department of Education to provide tasty and nutritious lunches and snacks to the students and staff of the Summer Adventure Program through the Summer Food Service Program. The guidelines of the program ensured that the campers would enjoy well rounded, delicious meals that promote a healthy diet. We will continue this service for the 2017 Summer Adventure.

NAAF was honored to receive the USDA Summer Sunshine Award for exemplary food service in our Summer Adventure Program. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff, volunteers, and the community as a whole, we served a total of 3,273 meals during our 6 week program in 2016!

With your help, we hope to bring another great summer program to the amazing kids of the Gu Vo District in 2017. Going forward, as our programs continue to grow and inspire, we hope to branch out to the other districts of the Tohono O’odham Nation who so desperately need healthy, safe, educational, and creative outlets, especially during the summer months when school is not in session.

All of us at NAAF truly appreciate you, and your help with funding for our programs in the past. Your generous donations have helped to make the program a success, and we are extremely grateful. Thank you so much!

 

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Organization Information

Native American Advancement Foundation

Location: Tucson, AZ - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Jeremy Paxton
Tucson, AZ United States
$2,190 raised of $25,000 goal
 
67 donations
$22,810 to go
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