Only 24.6% of the Tohono O'odham workforce is employed. Help raise this number through educating tribal youth.
On the Tohono O'odham Reservation, located in Arizona, 50.6% of children under the age of 18 live below the poverty line. Fewer than half of O'odham adults have completed high school, which represents the lowest rate among all Native American tribes. Per capita income is estimated at $6,998. Clearly, the Tribe is suffering.
The Native American Advancement Foundation's (NAAF) Academic Summer Adventure Camp is designed to seamlessly combine fun with education, health and wellness, and adventure. The program focuses on lessons in research, math, science, reading, and health education. Many of these lessons are delivered through Kahn Academy, an online program providing high-quality education. Field trips also play a big role. For many of these kids, a trip to educational facilities like Biosphere 2 or the Pima Air and Space Museum is the first time they have traveled off the reservation. NAAF encourages learning and curiosity amongst Native American youth in order to break the vicious cycle of poverty through education.
You can help. Just $10 sends one Native American youth to NAAF's Academic Summer Enrichment Camp for one week.
Update from the Field
Thanks to YOUR donations, the Summer Adventure Program was able to expand the minds of 40 enrolled students from the Gu Vo District in 2017. Your donations paid for 592 meals served this summer! The camp was operated by a team of over 30 volunteers and included fitness activities, cultural crafts, healthy meals and nutrition education, daily math and reading lessons, and field trips to Biosphere 2 in Tucson and OdySea Aquarium in Phoenix. This program provides a safe place for students to continue learning during the summer months through fun and educational adventures, both on and off the reservation. This program is also crucial for parents that don't have options for extra childcare during the summer months when children are not in school.
One of the children that benefited from the summer program is Demetrius (pictured to the right). Demetrius lives in the village of Ali Chugk in the Gu Vo District of the Tohono O'odham Nation, just a few miles from the U.S./Mexico border. He is a bright, curious young man with a great attitude and smile that will melt your heart. During the summer months, the temperatures get to be over 100 degrees, so it is not safe to play outside his house. Because of the summer program, Demetrius has a safe and productive place to go where he can continue to learn and grow, and receive healthy meals. Each weekday during the summer, Demetrius comes to the Al Jek Recreation Center, where he has the opportunity to work with robotics, go on field trips, play sports, and work in the community garden. These opportunities wouldn't be available to Demetrius without the Summer Adventure Program. Thanks to your generous donations, children like Demetrius spend their summer learning and growing!
"Molly is a regular at the Native American Advancement Foundation's (NAAF) academic after-school program. During summer's lull, we close down the after-school program and hold our Academic Summer Adventure Camp for the months of June and July. Molly was there for the last day of the after-school program and the first day of academic summer camp. Molly went into our 2015 Academic Summer Adventure having just completed the 2nd grade, but her reading and writing levels were still at a 1st grade level. Molly worked hard with her tutors for the length of camp and made great progress. Of course, we didn't know how great her progress was until she entered 3rd grade. It makes us incredibly proud to report that Molly is now among the top students in her class due to her dedication and hard work through our Summer and after-school programs."
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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