Gearing up for school

Gearing up for school

Nonprofit makes sure kids have the right tools


“Some of these parents do need help with getting school supplies,” said Ramon Begay, the parent educator and liaison for Tséhootsooí Diné Bi’Ólta’.

Student opens backpack to find goodies.

A student from Dennehotso Boarding School in Dennehotso, Arizona, opens up the backpack he received from the Partnership with Native Americans last school year.

The kindergarten through sixth-grade school is one of 30 across the Navajo Nation that will be receiving backpacks filled with school supplies from the nonprofit Partnership With Native Americans.

The partnership will giving approximately 7,000 backpacks to schools on the Navajo Nation.

The reservation has high rates of unemployment and families living at or below the poverty line.

“Some of our parents are with TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), Food Stamps,” Begay said.

This is the third time that Tséhootsooí has received school supplies from the partnership.

“These students and parents do look forward to if we’re going to get backpacks and school supplies for our students,” Begay said. “These students will come and ask me too, ‘Hey, Mr. Begay, are we getting school supplies?’”

Added to the list of schools receiving school supplies is Many Farms Community School in Many Farms, Arizona. This will help families who can’t get to border towns to buy their children school supplies, said Robert Dalton, parent coordinator for the school.

“We do live in like a remote area here in Many Farms,” he said. “We’re about a couple hours to Gallup and maybe a couple hours to Farmington. Some of our students here do not get a chance to go out into to the towns to purchase those items.”

Not only does it “alleviate a lot of travel” but it helps students succeed.

“It also motivates our students here,” Dalton said. “It gives them positive encouragement, positive reinforcement and it gives them an opportunity to excel in the classroom.”

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About The Author

Pauly Denetclaw

Pauly Denetclaw is Meadow People born for Towering House People. She was raised in Manuelito and Naschitti, New Mexico. She was the co-recipient of the Native American Journalist Association's 2016 Richard LaCourse Award for Investigative Reporting. Denetclaw is currently finishing her degree in multimedia journalism from the University of New Mexico - Main. Denetclaw covers a range of topics including genetic research, education, health, social justice issues and small businesses. She loves coffee, writing and being with her family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Her handle is @pdineclah


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