January 2020 Newsletter
CUSD Indigenous Education Program
At the Chandler Care Center: 777 E Galveston St Chandler AZ 85225
5:30 pm-7:00 pm
- Wednesday, February 5
- Wednesday, March 4
- Wednesday, April 15
21st Annual Gila River Close Up Event: March 16-18th, 2020
- This event is a 3 day-civic education and leadership program for Gila River Indian Community high school students. Event description and registration form at the bottom of the newsletter or with this link.
- The event will take place at the Gila River Governance Center, the Akimel O'otham Loditha Kud Ki (courthouse), the O’odham Ha Ki, and the Four Point by Sheraton (lodging in Chandler). View event agenda
Governor's 5th Annual Education Summit
Indigenous Education Program Fall 2019 Recap:
- President- Tracey Sekayumptewa
- Vice President- Kara Thrasher
- Secretary- Michelle Speaker
- Treasurer- Erin Gramzinski
November 9th, 2019 Fall Harvest Potluck:
- At the Tumbleweed Recreation Center, families and CUSD Federal Programs staff shared delicious food and conversation, as well as connected with each other through a poetry activity led by Federal Programs director Monica Romero.
- We also reviewed books provided by Scholastic that feature Indigenous artists, authors, and ideas relating to Indigenous culture. Come and see these books at the next IPC meeting!
Welcoming our Indigenous Engagement Specialist, Tia Gramzinski
I'm Diné (Navajo) from Kayenta, Arizona (Tó Dínéeshzheeʼ), and I went to K-12th grade in the CUSD. I am an alumni of Chandler Gilbert Community College (Associate’s degree) and Northern Arizona University (Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education). I worked two years for the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals' Environmental Education Outreach Program with elementary to high school aged students from various Indigenous communities throughout Arizona, and for NAU's Office of Indigenous Student Success where I worked with college students and prospective college students.
Aside from spending time with family, I love to listen to podcasts, watch and play basketball, listen to live music, and practice the Navajo language/Diné Bizaad. It is my passion to be an advocate for Indigenous students of all ages, abilities, gender identities, and cultures. Our students will be responsible for the prosperity and preservation of Indigenous cultures and making a positive impact in the world. My goal is to meet and collaborate with students and families throughout their CUSD journey. Encouraging them and providing assistance for academic success are ways to accomplish this goal and I will be their advocate every step of the way.
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Native Art Market
There is a Native Art Market held every Saturday-Sunday 9am-5pm at the Talking Stick Shopping Center! Above are handcrafted jewelry pieces from one of the artists at the market, Turquoise Mafia. The event features a multitude of Native American artists and performers from 22 nations. Be sure to check it out before it's over in March!
Heard Museum Exhibit: It’s Your Turn Yosemite
At the Heard Museum, this exhibit immerses visitors in the landscape of the Yosemite Valley. Through a series of hands-on activities for children and families, you can try your hand at basket weaving, explore iPad drawing, and color postcards to send to your friends and family. Now, it’s your turn to be inspired by this amazing landscape!
Indigenous Engagement Specialist Tia Gramzinski recently completed her student teaching internship in Tuba City, Arizona. She drew this cartoon to serve as a coloring page for her 4th grade class to take home during Thanksgiving break. Hastiin Tazhii in Navajo translates to Turkey Man or Mr. Turkey. Contact us to share your students' notable artwork or projects!
Native Art Market
Heard Museum Exhibit: It’s Your Turn Yosemite
Missing Forms: In order to receive services from the Indigenous Education Program, PLEASE get the following documentation on file:
- Title 6 and/or JOM forms for each student
- Student or family member tribal enrollment identification (CIB, tribal ID, etc.) for each student
Funding Requests: The IEP offers funding up to $600 per student each school year for summer school, SAT/ACT test registration, dual enrollment, and other select class fees.
Please contact your high school academic counselor first for information and deadlines.
Need a laptop or graphing calculator?
Please contact your Native American Student Advisor at your high school and they will guide your student through the process. Both the parent/guardian and student will need to sign a contract. Laptops and calculators are to be returned by May 22, 2020.
Native American Student Advisory at High Schools
At 5 CUSD high schools, we partner with 7 school staff to provide academic counseling to Native American students enrolled in our program, as well as sponsor the schools' Native American clubs.
- Each site has weekly or monthly student Native American club meetings
- Advisors meet one-on-one for grade/credit checks and more
- Advisors attend our IPC meetings (depending on availability)
If you are seeking any assistance with your child’s academics, behavior, health, attendance, or other concerns, these advisors are your connection to school and community resources.
Basha High: Nancy Spilsbury (480) 224-2264
Casteel High: Jessica Burt (480) 424-8341
Chandler High: Brett Parks-- Sophomores/Seniors (480) 812-7962
Chandler High: Carole Kaitz-- Freshmen/Juniors (480) 812-7760
Hamilton High: Amy Furrow-- Freshmen/Seniors (480) 883-5032
Hamilton High: Margarita Jimenez Trujillo-- Sophomores/Juniors (480) 883-5274
Perry High: Megan Driving Hawk (480) 224-2954
Indigenous Scholarship Opportunities
- American Indian College Fund
- American Indian Education Fund
- American Indian Services
- Arizona Indian Education Association (will likely post 2020-2021 scholarship application this summer)
- Catching the Dream Scholarship
- Chandler Education Foundation: CEF has dozens of scholarships you can apply for! This website has everything you need for scholarships available to college bound students from all 5 of our core high schools, as well as ACP-Erie.
- Scholarship Databases: These are great tools for being connected to hundreds of other scholarships- Fastweb and Student Scholarships
Indigenous Engagement Specialist - Tia Gramzinski
Gila River Advisor - Andrew Garcia
Director of Federal Programs - Monica Romero
Administrative Assistant - Diana Moreno