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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

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!

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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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Summer Sunshine Award!
Summer Sunshine Award!

Dear Friends,

NAAF’s Summer Adventure Program was a big hit this year, with more than 40 kids participating at the Al Jek and Sells Recreation centers. This year we partnered with the USDA and Arizona Department of Education to bring our kids delicious and nutritious meals every day, and we are proud to report that we are the recipients of the Summer Sunshine Award for the category of Reaching Rural, Tribal, and/or Underserved Communities, which recognizes sponsors who operate exemplary summer meal programs. What a great way to recognize all the hard work and dedication our staff and volunteers put into an outstanding summer program!

In a community where over 70% of the adult population lives with diabetes, it is so important to make health and nutrition part of the educational process. Through NAAF’s partnership with the USDA and AZDE, we were able to present healthy, balanced meals that provide the much needed fuel the kids need to have a happy and active lifestyle. The kids enjoyed the meals, and put their energy to good use, playing sports and swimming, and engaging in academic studies.

In addition to health and wellness, our Academic Summer Adventure Program seeks to keep kids engaged in academic lessons through the summer. We 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. 

This year, the kids had a blast going on some very exciting field trips, too. From touring the local radio station, to visiting the Pima Air and Space museum and chatting with WWII veterans, to swimming the public pools at Ajo and Sells to beat the summer heat, the kids stayed active mentally and physically and had a good time doing it. It was a fantastic summer, with great new memories and important life lessons.

The Academic Summer Adventure Program does so much good for so many deserving kids, and you are a big part of making that possible. Thanks to your kind and generous donations, we can continue to make a positive impact on the lives of these incredible kids. On behalf of the entire NAAF staff and volunteers, and all of the kids and families involved in the Summer Adventure Program, thank you so much for your continuing support. We continue to see positive changes in a community that struggles with high dropout rates, diabetes, and substance abuse by keeping kids engaged in healthy and growth oriented activities, and we couldn’t do it without your help. Thank you!

T.O. Word of the Day
T.O. Word of the Day
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Our Academic Summer Adventure promotes education, builds youth self-esteem, sparks curiosity, and shapes strong, healthy, contributing members of society. This summer our students improved their reading, writing, math, and science skills in a fun and friendly environment. These dedicated youth were also treated to fun and educational field trips to locations in and out of their community.

Thanks to an in-kind donation from Laces of Grace, we distributed 69 pairs of brand new shoes to our students and other children in the community! We also distributed 40 new backpacks and luggage tags to students for the school year among other much-needed school supplies.

NAAF partnered with the USDA and Arizona Department of Education through the Summer Food Service Program to provide healthy and nutritious lunches and snacks to children in Gu Vo District and the Tohono O'odham Nation's capital, Sells District. This was a welcome addition to our program and gave us another opportunity to focus on health and wellness education on the Nation. A total of 3,273 meals and snacks were served over 6 weeks! It was a true delight seeing the youth respond positively to these healthy meals. At the Al Jek Recreation Center in Gu Vo District, we were honored to have guests from the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service team. Among them were Jesus Mendoza Jr., Western Regional Administrator; Sarah Stever, Program Specialist; Michael Ladd, Tribal Liaison; and Suzanne Callor, a Nutrition Program Specialist with the Arizona Department of Education. Our guests were treated to a traditional Tohono O'odham song, sung by three students about the four directions, as well as a warm welcome from Gu Vo Chairman Manuel. This visit meant so much to us as the USDA team traveled all the way from San Francisco to see our vibrant community in action.

This summer our students had an inside look at the roles associated with their Tribal Council at the Legislative Council Chambers in Sells District. They had the opportunity to meet with Legislative Council Chairman Timothy Joaquin and learn about the importance of the Council's work. To commemorate the experience, the students' picture was printed in the local newspaper, The Runner! On the way back to Gu Vo, the students were treated to a tour of the KOHN FM radio station in Ouijota. Many children later expressed how fun and educational the trip was for them. On another trip, our students were thrilled and inspired by the Pima Air and Space Museum, where they learned about the history of aircraft used during WWI and WWII. A few of the older youth were fortunate enough to speak with veterans at the museum. The veterans expressed enjoyment over speaking with the youth about their experiences as many of these servicemen were around the same age when they enlisted. In addition to these exciting adventures, the students loved swimming at the public pools in Ajo and Sells, AZ! What a fantastic summer! :)

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Organization Information

Native American Advancement Foundation

Location: Tucson, AZ - USA
Website:
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Project Leader:
Jeremy Paxton
Tucson, AZ United States
$2,635 raised of $25,000 goal
 
81 donations
$22,365 to go
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