Grants awarded to improve education for Native children

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings recently announced the award of eight grants totaling $1,941,692 to programs in six states that will help American Indian children succeed in school along with another $2.9 million to help train qualified American Indians to become teachers and administrators in their communities.

"Every child deserves a quality education and the sad truth is that many students in our country still don't get one. No Child Left Behind is working hard to change that reality," said Spellings. "These grants will help ensure American Indian students receive a quality education and learn the skills they need for a bright, successful future."

The Chinle Unified School District in Chinle was awarded $148,143. They will use the grant in a collaboration with Diné Community College and the Navajo Nation Department of Youth to provide activities that recognize and support the cultural and educational needs of Indian children. This will include family-based preschool and literacy programs that emphasize kindergarten readiness and parental skills, and provide services to Indian children with disabilities. The collaboration will also provide after-school tutoring services for high school students and professional development opportunities for local teachers.

Grants are awarded under the Demonstration Grants for Indian Children Program to help enhance both preschool preparation for American Indian children and efforts to prepare American Indian high school students transition to and succeed in college or other postsecondary education options.

The Diné College Center for Diné Teacher Education in Tsaile was also awarded two grants totaling $584,463 to provide training programs to recruit and graduate new American Indian teachers and school administrators. The college will use one grant of $314,088 to for its Navajo School Administrator Preparation Program, which will support 15 teachers in K-12 schools to gain certified administrator status and work in Navajo Nation schools. The second grant of $270,375 will be used to collaborate with Arizona State University to recruit, train, and successfully graduate 60 Americana Indian pre-service teachers, who will earn their bachelor's degrees in elementary education and state teaching licenses.

The grant awards are part of the Office of Indian Education's Professional Development program, which trains qualified American Indians to become teachers and administrators in Indian communities. Nationwide, 9 grants totaling $2.9 million were given out.

More information about Indian education is available from the Office of Indian Education at http://www.ed.gov/programs/indiandemo/index.html.

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