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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Collaboration ensures school readiness and lifelong success for Native students

November 11, 2019 GMT

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Indian Education Association (NIEA), Communities in Schools Mid-America, Inc. (CIS-MA), Anadarko Public Schools (APS), and Wichita and Affiliated Tribes of Oklahoma are working together to address school readiness barriers experienced by Native students. The four-year project, “Tribal Communities in Schools; An Integrated School Support Model for Serving Native Students” currently serves up to 1,069 tribal students in the Anadarko Public Schools and is funded by a $2.7 million grant from the Department of Education’s Native Youth Community Project (NYCP).

“The goal of the project is to dramatically improve outcomes for Native students by implementing a community-wide integrated student support approach that provides academic, social, and other supports that ensure college and career readiness, and lifelong success,” said Rusty Brown (Delaware), NIEA Field Operation Specialist.

Communities In Schools (CIS) is the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization. CIS-MA, an affiliate of the national organization, launched the Tribal Communities In Schools project in the APS District with the goal of taking their proven model and modifying it for a Native student population. The APS District, which has five distinct schools, serves a student body that is approximately 65 percent Native American.

Donna Bussell, Tribal Services Director for CIS of Mid-America, talked about a 5K run hosted by CIS-MA this Fall, “Our community is invested in our students. Everyone here is connected. Having a fundraiser 5K during our 4th of July celebrations in order to help our students in Anadarko seemed like the perfect way to introduce CIS of Mid-America. Our program is here to help our kids with everything they need to be successful. I know this amazing community will help us in our endeavors.”

Brown and Jacob Tsotigh (Kiowa), NIEA Tribal Education Specialist, work directly with CIS-MA, the Wichita, and APS. “By collaborating with this program, NIEA is able to provide more understanding about the need for culturally responsive education and culture-based education,” said Tsotigh.

About NIEA
NIEA is the Nation’s most inclusive advocacy organization advancing comprehensive culture-based educational opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Formed by Native educators in 1969 to encourage a national discourse on education. For more information visit www.niea.org.

Geneva HorseChief-Hamilton, geneva@niea.org

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SOURCE National Indian Education Association