FY 2017 Awards
Fiscal Year 2017 Grant Awards
Lower Kuskokwim School District (S356A170007) $715,907 The Lower Kuskokwim School District (LKSD) proposes The Quyurramta: All of Us Together Project which seeks to improve outcomes for Yup’ik native students in school and life. The goals of this project are 1) Organize and digitize Yup’ik language resources to increase access and use by students, parents and teachers; 2) Integrate new Yup’ik language resources into core academic curricula with 100% of Quyurramta Yup’ik language materials integrated into reading, English language, and/or math curriculum for 2,580 PK–5th grade students; 3) Train teachers in effective ways to use Yup’ik language materials to boost language proficiency, cultural knowledge and academic success; and 4) Enlist villages in language revitalization and acquisition. LKSD participants will include: 4,296 PK–12 students, 292 teachers, 110 classroom aides, 60 associate teachers of Yup’ik language, five District Office administrators and 12 Instructional Coaches and Curriculum Directors.
Calista Education & Culture, Inc. (S356A170012) $1,539,872 Calista Education and Culture, Inc., an Alaskan Native-serving organization, along with Alaska Humanities Forum, and Lower Kuskokwim, Yupiit, Lower Yukon, Kuspuk and Saint Mary’s School Districts, propose the Yuuyaraq: A Framework for Student Success and Cultural Competence of Rural Educators Project. There are 7,110 Alaska Native students and 524 teachers in the five school districts in the Calista region. The student population is 94% – 100% Alaska Native; the teacher population is 97% White. The project will directly serve 94 students in grades 7 and 8, and 120 educators. The expectation is that the population receiving grant services will be equitably dispersed among partner school districts. Cultural Immersion Camps will be held at three locations: Umkumuit, Marshall, and Aniak. The goals of this project are – Goal 1: Middle-school students will participate in guided Cultural Immersion Camp experiences that foster the development of a strong cultural foundation for a healthy life and “kingunratgun piuqina” (leading from behind); and Goal 2: New rural teacher retention rates will improve as a result of cultural induction and mentoring.
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) (S356A170019) $1,088,526 Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) proposes the Raven Reads in Southeast Alaska: A Culturally Responsive Kindergarten Readiness Program project which is guided by two goals: (1) Improve kindergarten readiness for Native children; and (2) Increase positive attitudes for reading in the homes of Native children. Raven Reads is a model program: A culturally relevant, family-driven, and community- based early literacy development program serving Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian families and their children. Designed with assistance from childhood literacy specialists and launched by SHI (2014) in Juneau, Raven Reads exceeded all expectations: 190 Native families (277 children) participated; 50% of Juneau’s Native children are currently being served; and 97% of parents report being satisfied with the program and the books that they receive each month. Children who participated in Raven Reads’ annual Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) demonstrated a 50% (aggregated) increase in PALS’ five areas of pre-kindergarten assessment. SHI’s Raven Reads in Southeast Alaska project will serve 215 families of 300 Native children (birth to 5 years) in a total of 10 Southeast Alaska communities annually.
Sealaska Heritage Institute (S356A170001) $969,669 The Sealaska Heritage Institute and University of Alaska Southeast propose the Northwest Coast Arts: Sharing Our Box of Treasures Project, designed to integrate the legendary Northwest Coast (NWC) Arts and Cultures into courses and supplemental programs for Alaska Native high school and university students. Through this project, NWC Arts will be taught at high school and college levels and within the broader community, to share Our Box of Treasures through carefully implemented sequential, multi-year education and career pathways affecting over 250 youth and 120 adults. Four overarching project goals are proposed: (1) Develop and deliver a robust two year associate degree program and ancillary courses concentrated on NWC Arts, enrolling and awarding partial scholarships to 20 students; (2) Expand the Juneau Fine Arts Career Pathway to focus on NWC Arts; field test courses with 30 students in four high schools; (3) Increase retention rates and math academic achievement of 30 Alaska Native students through NWC Arts integrated in high school math courses, taught by 15 teachers trained in a 50 hour summer institute, along with engagement with high quality NWC artists and supplemental, summer programming; and (4) Document development and implementation of NWC Arts and Cultures programs and produce sustainability plan for next phase of expansion.
Igiugig Tribal Village Council (S356A170005) $512,872 The Igiugig Tribal Village Council proposes the Communities Teaching Culture Project, a systemic change in the current education practices for Alaska Native children that aims to return time and responsibility for teaching and learning to local villages, with technical assistance and support from culturally competent education experts in Lake and Peninsula School District (LPSD). The goals of the Communities Teaching Culture project are – Goal 1: Foster strong, sustainable partnerships between each community and LPSD teachers and staff; Goal 2: Reshape the schooling experience for students in the Lake and Peninsula region; and Goal 3: Strengthen the LPSD standards framework to guide the work of communities and schools. Education outcomes will include: an increase in on-time graduation rates; gains in AIMSWeb scores from fall to spring; student achievement and documentation of summer subsistence activities; increases in number of students who achieve proficiency in the new PEAKS exams; individual support for summer and academic learning; and expressed satisfaction with the new education structure and personal cultural knowledge. This community-based initiative will impact 1,661 residents of 13 southwestern Alaska villages with schools that serve 350 school-aged children and employ 48 educators.
Doyon Foundation (S356A170021) $354,612 Doyon Foundation proposes the Doyon Languages Online II Project. The goal of the project is to increase the number of K-12 students who speak Nee’andĕg’; Née’aaneegn’; Deg Xinag; and Denak’i by providing engaging, relevant and leveled instructional programs that incorporate the voices of first language speakers for K-12 students. Doyon Foundation will partner with Native speakers and Transparent Language Online, a language-learning software company that supports endangered language learning through its non-profit arm, 7000 Languages Project, to build and document language learning content for four languages: Nee’andĕg’; Née’aaneegn’; Deg Xinag; and Denak’i. Using second language acquisition theory and practice for ways to integrate these languages in K-12 schools and help facilitate instruction, Doyon Foundation will partner with the Alaska Gateway and Iditarod Area School Districts to integrate the newly developed online lessons into K-12 classrooms and field test the lessons with approximately 120 students.
Yuut Elitnaurviat Inc. (S356A170022) $371,721 The Yuut Elitnaurviat- People’s Learning Center Inc. proposes the Yuut Elitnaurviat Licensed Practical Nursing Program, an initiative to develop a locally delivered Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) Program for the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta Region (YK Delta) of Southwestern Alaska. The YK Delta residents are predominantly Alaska Native and the region is plagued by chronic poverty and low educational attainment, yet there is a high availability of high-wage employment in the local healthcare industry. The program builds off of existing successful programs and will get a LPN program accredited, develop a pipeline of qualified Alaska Natives to meet enrollment goals, and then will deliver LPN courses locally. Graduates can complete the program in 12 to 18 months and enter into full time, high-demand employment starting at $28.85/hr. The development of feeder programs will include a one semester series for adults and opportunities for in-school youth to complete prerequisites prior to graduation. Yuut Elitnaurviat is the state-designated rural training center for the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta Region of Southwestern Alaska and will coordinate all aspects of program development and delivery to approximately 125 students.
EXCEL Alaska, Inc. (S356A170034) $1,026,739 EXCEL Alaska, Inc. proposes the EXCEL Secondary Success Program which seeks to ensure Alaska Native students graduate high school in four years with a diploma and raise state assessment scores in English language arts, math and science. The EXCEL program is designed with culturally relevant, hands-on educational experiences providing Alaska Native students with the skills and knowledge to transition from high school to employment or further training, and promotes the character, resiliency, and leadership skills necessary to be successful in pursuing post-secondary education and meeting life’s challenges. The program will include a series of short-term residential programs in various locations in Alaska. These residential programs vary in length from four to 21 days and are referred to as EXCEL Sessions. The EXCEL sessions will incorporate a variety of content areas that target certain high-interest career paths giving relevancy to high school core classes. The EXCEL Secondary Success Program will serve 404 students drawn from 52 schools in seven school districts within the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region.
Mt. Sanford Tribal Consortium (S356A170038) $340,833 The Mt. Sanford Tribal Consortium, a tribal consortium of two federally-recognized Tribal Councils of Chistochina and Mentasta Lake, proposes the First Steps on the Trail Early Learning Program. This program will provide high-quality, culturally appropriate early learning for children ages 0-5 in our communities. We have chosen a strengths-based approach where the assets in our community and our people are highlighted and used in powerful and diverse ways to ensure that the deficits that must be overcome are addressed. The total number of individuals to be served by the First Steps on the Trail Early learning Program is 142, and the goal of the program is to provide high-quality, culturally appropriate, early learning for children ages 0-5 years in Chistochina and Mentasta. Twenty-two children ages 0-5 and 40 parents will be directly served by the program, and, through community-based training and educational supports, the program will serve approximately 80 more adult community members who are the enrolled children’s family members.
Lower Yukon School District (LYSD) (S356A170015) $509,046 Lower Yukon School District (LYSD) and Chugach School District (CSD) propose the Best Beginnings and Flourishing Futures (BBFF) Project, a bookend project serving both early learners (Best Beginnings) with preschool and family support services as well as high school students (Flourishing Futures) with intensive career and life skill development opportunities. Best Beginnings activities will provide 80 unserved, financially disadvantaged, Alaska Native 3-5 year-olds with the skills to succeed in kindergarten by providing half-day preschool and engaging families in learning activities at home; ensure cultural identity is the foundation of early learning experiences by providing Alaska Native preschool units, literature, and dramatic play materials; and provide intensive, Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)-focused professional development for preschool teachers in improving quality teacher- child interactions. Flourishing Futures will provide 20 LYSD high school students and 15 CSD high school students with focused, contextual academic instruction in personally relevant fields of interest; application of technical mathematics, reading, and writing in real life situations; work readiness and employability skills training; career exploration/job shadowing; college readiness skill development and planning; personal, social, and life skill development; cultural learning opportunities, interactions, and on-the-job training opportunities with Alaska Native industry professionals; and job shadows and internships within local communities.
Maniilaq Association (S356A170020) $400,701 Maniilaq Association, Inc., an Alaska Native Organization representing the twelve federally- recognized tribes of Northwest Alaska, proposes the Iḷisautilavut Iḷisautrit (Teaching the Teachers) Project. Maniilaq, in cooperation with the Northwest Arctic Borough School District (NWABSD), and the Alaska Humanities Forum (AHF), will improve Alaska Native academic achievement through a collection of cultural experiences and professional development for Newly Hired Teachers (NHT). The objectives of the project are – 1) 52 newly hired teachers (NHTs) will participate in a cultural immersion program to increase cultural competency; 2) NHTs will complete a 3 credit multicultural studies education course that contributes to Alaskan teacher certification; 3) Support NHT efforts to make their instructional design and delivery culturally appropriate; and 4) Support NHT development of pedagogical skills surrounding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma-informed schools, and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The twelve schools of the NWABSD will participate in the project. These activities will benefit the predominantly Alaska Native NWABSD student population of approximately 2,500.
Yukon Koyukuk School District (S356A170004) $798,447 The Yukon Koyukuk School District (YKSD) proposes the Alaska – Resilient Ecology Offered with Language Valued Education (A-RESOLVE) Project which seeks to – 1) motivate and engage some of Alaska’s most at-risk students into healthier social, emotional, and academic behaviors through webs of support; 2) help students better understand Alaska Native (AN) language and cultural values through publishing stories in the Denaakk’e (and other Athabascan) languages; 3) develop student resiliency through greater adult connectivity; 4) improve school graduation rates, academic achievement, Grade Point Average (GPA); 5) build student resilience: resilience is the capacity to withstand stress, trauma, and tragedy; and 6) instill staff with emotional support, resilience and greater knowledge of AN language and culture, to lead to greater school success. The A-RESOLVE project will serve approximately 840 local, and primarily Alaska Native, students in 18 Interior Alaska Native villages with support of local tribal councils. The project is designed to motivate and engage some of Alaska’s most at-risk students into healthier social, emotional, and academic behaviors through webs of support, and to help students work with Elders to practice AN language and cultural values.
Kawerak, Inc. (S356A170010) $331,318 Kawerak Inc., a non-profit consortium of 20 Alaska Native Tribes of the Bering Straits Region (BSR) of Northwest Alaska, proposes the Nome Regional ABE (Adult Basic Education) Extension Project that addresses the gaps and challenges village-based Alaska Native learners face when trying to earn a GED. The project goal is to improve the academic level of regional Alaska Native learners without a high school credential. The three measurable objectives are to increase learning opportunities for GED learners; to increase the persistence of GED learners; and to increase the number of GED graduates. In 2014 the GED was modified to meet Common Core Standards and the percentage of credentials earned fell from 13.5% (28 learners) in 2012 and 2013 to less than 1% (1 award) in 2014-16. To rectify this outcome, Kawerak ABE/GED instructors propose to travel to villages 18 times each year to teach four-day intensive study sessions to at least 144 (8 learners x 18 trips) adult learners at various educational levels annually. Instructors will also provide one-on-one tutoring, computer literacy, employment skills as needed and modifying instructional methods so they are relevant to life in rural Alaska.
Cook Inlet Tribal Council (S356A170037) $867,493 The Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) proposes the STEM Learning Labs project in response to specific weaknesses within the Anchorage School District (ASD) that perpetuate the gap between Alaska Native students’ potential and achievement in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. STEM Learning Labs will nurture a multi-age community of Alaska Native students engaged with 21st century STEM learning by offering year-round, culturally infused fabrication-based STEM enrichment programming at multiple Anchorage sites including schools, CITC facilities, and community venues used by Alaska Native families. STEM Learning Labs will serve 686 Alaska Native youth grades 3-12 who will benefit from a mobile STEM enrichment program in Anchorage, Alaska. Anticipated outcomes are: increases in the number and percentage of students meeting/exceeding proficiency standards for reading, mathematics and science; increases in four-year high school graduation rates; increases in college readiness; and increased post-secondary enrollment among Alaska Native students in ASD.
Nenana Native Association (S356A70027) $388,126 Nenana Native Council (aka Nenana Native Association), a federally-recognized tribal government for the Nenana Alaska region, proposes the Athabascan Pathways to 21st Century College and Career Readiness Project. The project is being planned, developed, implemented and sustained by a partnership that—in addition to the Nenana City School District—includes the active participation of the Tanana Chiefs Conference and the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program. Project activities will serve 184 youth K-12 and will take place at one site, the Nenana City School District campus in rural and geographically isolated Nenana, Alaska. Activities are designed to: increase the number of Alaska Native students who meet or exceed proficiency standards in science, reading, and math; increase on-time graduation rates; increase student interest in pursuing post-secondary science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies; increase teacher participants’ knowledge regarding content and instructional strategies related to the STEM curriculum; and increase students’ knowledge of, and participation in, Alaska Cultural Arts-related activities. Pathways will serve as a model program, able to be replicated among other communities serving rural and remote Alaska Native youth.
Ilsagvik College (S356A170017) $388,387 Iḷisaġvik College proposes the Improving Student Success and Place-Based Iñupiaq Cultural Education Project. The two project goals are (a) to enhance Alaska Native student success and improve matriculation and persistence rates via student support activities throughout the North Slope region and (b) to build Iñupiaq cultural connections and develop place-based curricula for Iḷisaġvik College academic programs and extracurricular cultural learning opportunities. Iḷisaġvik College will accomplish the project’s goals and objectives by engaging in the following activities: (a) Cultural curriculum development and cultural program growth in the Iñupiaq Studies Program and Indigenous Education Program; (b) Facilitation of student success through several activities such as the hiring of a new support position, the Student Success Associate; (c) North Slope village travel to meet with students and offer college-going and financial aid workshops to secondary and postsecondary students; (d) Revitalization and growth of the Iḷisaġvik College Learning Resource Center, which offers free tutoring services; and (e) Increased student support through more contact points and case management via Iḷisaġvik Student Success Center staff. The project will serve 1,200 secondary and postsecondary students, 12 faculty members (via developed cultural curriculum resources) and 25 part-time and full-time staff.