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A Space to Learn for Native American Students

Item # 63393

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Programs that educate Native American students are in danger. Help fund the purchase of a simple, yet powerful modular building to educate these underserved Native American youth so eager to learn.

Education is important. So is a building for the lessons to come alive. The remote District of Gu-Vo on the Tohono O'odham Reservation in Arizona is a land of little opportunity where resources are scarce. Public transportation to school is limited, as are personal vehicles. Students are not allowed to bring textbooks home to study, nor can most families afford books of their own. The dropout rate on the reservation is as high as 51%. The average per capita income is as low as $7,000, with an unemployment rate of 42%. Many local educators have become disenchanted with the lack of resources provided to their schools and feel they cannot properly do their jobs. As a result, students suffer and dropout rates increase.

In response, the Native American Advancement Foundation (NAAF) has established the only educational after school program on the reservation, a GED program, a Virtual Learning Center for those unable to attend traditional schooling (many of these young mothers with familial duties who long to better their family's position in life), and a summer youth program that encourages children to stay out of trouble and continue their studies during the long, hot desert summer. While NAAF is implementing positive change on multiple fronts, their programs are in jeopardy as there is no permanent building to house these initiatives long term. Each year, the efforts of NAAF see more GED graduates, higher GPAs, and less students dropping out. Now, more than ever, a simple, yet effective modular building is needed to ensure these programs survive and the youth prosper.

You can help. Just $10 pays for half of a square foot to provide these underserved kids, so eager to learn, a shot at success.

Update from the Field
August 2016

Shani is a 16-year-old single mother who receives one-on-one tutoring at NAAF’s Academic After-School Program. She has progressed from a 1st-grade reading level to a 3rd-grade reading level and is learning more each day. With the promise of a new building to hold NAAF's academic programs, Shani knows that she will always have a place to come as she continues to progress in her studies.

The Native American Advancement Foundation was formed to assist and promote research-based, community-driven, sustainable development throughout the Tohono O'odham Reservation located in Arizona. Through our efforts, we are strengthening Native American communities by supporting, promoting, and providing programs in the areas of education, health and wellness, and opening economic opportunities on the Reservation.

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