Arizona education department awards $1.8M to support Native American programs

May 17, 2022, 3:00 PM
(Facebook Photo/Native SOAR)...
(Facebook Photo/Native SOAR)
(Facebook Photo/Native SOAR)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Education on Tuesday awarded nearly $2 million to two programs that support Native American students and their families.

The University of Arizona College of Education is getting $1.2 million for its Native Student Outreach, Access and Resiliency (SOAR) program.

“The ADE grant will help us to continue creating healing and innovative spaces to encourage students and communities that they are loved, and they are brilliant leaders,” Amanda Cheromiah, director of Native SOAR, said in a press release.

“We look forward to transforming Indigenous education to better serve our communities in this pandemic era.”

Native SOAR will use the funding to help establish a multigenerational mentoring program for Native students across the state.

The other recipient is the Akimel O’Otham Pee Posh Charter School, which is getting about $600,000. The money will help provide books to families on the Gila River Indian Reservation.

“Our serving area has faced the scarcity of quality published content among Native American homes,” Jagdish Sharma, the school’s principal, said in the release.

“This funding will help close the learning gap created by the pandemic in our community.”

The grants are funded with federal American Rescue Plan COVID-19 relief dollars.

“My administration is committed to ensuring that Native students have additional holistic resources inside and outside of the classroom,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said in the release.

“These investments reflect that priority, and we are proud to invest in additional resources for Native communities.”

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Arizona education department awards $1.8M to support Native American programs