National Service Agency Awards $650,000 To Indian Tribes’ Service-Learning Programs

National Service Agency Awards $650,000 To Indian Tribes’ Service-Learning Programs
May 20, 2010

Washington, DC—School-aged youth will be able to participate in service-learning projects offered by five Indian Tribes through grants awarded by Learn and Serve America, the Corporation for National and Community Service announced today. The five grants total $650,070.

“Service is a solution to our most pressing national challenges, including helping Native Americans retain their history, culture, and language through service-learning,” said Patrick Corvington, Corporation CEO. “These grants will put Native American youth on a lifelong path of service and leadership that will benefit them and their tribes now and in the future and will lead to school engagement by the youth.”

The grants will support projects including:

  • The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall, ID, received a $186,588 grant to fund Rez Nation, a two-day leadership and service conference for students attending six high schools serving the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. The students will be assigned to Youth Tribal Councils to learn about issues in Indian Country, then present their ideas to tribal council members, tribal elders, community members and other adult volunteers. The project will also involve students in year-round service- learning projects.
  • The Rivercane Plant Restoration Project will be supported by a $90,964 grant to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Atmore, AL. The project will focus on restoration of the native plant that is used for making fishing spears, baskets and other traditional tribal art works. Rivercane restoration will also improve ecosystems and freshwater quality.
  • The $111,945 grant to Cook Inlet Tribal Council in Anchorage, AK, will fund a project involving middle and high school students in using journalism, photo essays, radio and video production to produce public service pieces that the students will distribute through the community as part of their efforts to educate the public about health and wellness issues and Alaska Culture.
  • The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma in Tahlequah, OK, will use its $111,973 grant for service-learning projects focused on the environment and tribal culture. Students will monitor water quality in streams across the countryside of the Cherokee Nation that feed into the Illinois River; establish a community garden; and reintroduce plants used in traditional tribal art such as basket making. The projects will also focus on involving parents in service-learning efforts.
  • The Laguna Educational Foundation in Laguna, NM, will use its $148,600 grant for service-learning projects in tribal history, language and culture. Participants in the Summer Youth Corps, an eight-week program, will learn to plan and implement community-based projects. Through the Youth Media Corps program, participants will create community-oriented PSAs and develop short documentaries on community issues. The Youth Language Corps Program teaches youth the Keresan language and prepares them to become youth language instructors and facilitators.

Learn and Serve America grants provide support to organizations that involve over one million young people in service-learning projects that simultaneously support student development and meet community needs. Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that connects specific learning objectives with meaningful service to the community. Students build civic and leadership skills while strengthening communities through service.

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Samantha Jo Warfield
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