Over $1 Million in Federal Grants Awarded to KIC's Education & Training Dept.
November 18, 2017
According to Katie Jo Parrott, KIC Education and Training Director, Ketchikan Indian Community received a 4-year US Department of Education Discretionary grant to address higher levels of professional, vocational, and educational achievement for youth ages 12-21.
This award is a total of $988,243 across the four project years, which will facilitate one new full-time position in the Education and Training department, according to Parrott. This project will increase opportunities for technical experience, including college credit courses and career/technical courses that lead to industry credentials. Experiential one-on-one tailored learning opportunities are central to the program, which will include student opportunities for securing a 100-ton Master’s License, internships at local businesses, and completing community projects alongside Elders. Transition planning for high school students is also a key component, providing students clear pathways into either post-secondary education or employment directly after graduation.
Parrott said KIC was also awarded a 3-year U.S. Department of Justice Tribal Youth Program grant to address the issue of absenteeism and educational disengagement with youth ages 12-18 and their families.
This award, a total of $343,513 across the three years, will facilitate one (1) new full-time and one (1) new part-time position focused on bridging the gap between disengaged students, their families, and their schools said Parrott. The Tribal Youth Liaison will act as an educational support staff between the school district and tribal families, addressing barriers that impact attendance, and mentoring youth along the way. The project will include instructional workshops for families as well as advocacy at the school district level.
According to Parrott, “It is well-known that Native students show disproportionately lower levels of academic success than other populations, and it is the Tribe’s mission to change that in our district. We are proud of the work we’ve done in establishing innovative programming for Native students through our Tribal Scholars Program and Native arts and languages program at the high school level. These new projects will facilitate the expansion of programming down to the middle school level, providing increased support to families and disengaged students, as well as increased opportunities for post-secondary achievement concurrent with secondary education. This is a great addition to our other programs, which have demonstrated proven success in engaging Native youth.”
The Tribal Scholars has been in operation for six (6) years in partnership with the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District. Parrott said during that time, district officials have noted improvements in the educational impact of the program. Tribal Scholars students received dual high school and college credit through a partnership with UAS Ketchikan, and have opportunities to learn subsistence practices and Native arts and language for credit. KIC also operates an after school program for Native students grades 6th-12th and a summer youth program, including Culture Camps and traditional gathering.
These projects are the culmination of the long-term vision of KIC’s leaders in education, and demonstrate KIC’s commitment to providing innovative and engaging educational opportunities for Native students in our district said Parrott.
Ketchikan Indian Community extended a special thanks to Deputy Director Sonya Skan and KIC’s Educator of the Year, school district employee Mark Woodward for their foresight and commitment to innovative education programming for Native students in Ketchikan.
Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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