Native American Summer Virtual Academy

Summer Learning is Fun at Native American Summer Academy
Posted on 07/30/2020

Even the COVID-19 emergency couldn’t stop students from celebrating indigenous cultures and traditions during RRPS’s annual Native American Summer Academy. 

Teacher with supplies to be given to familiesThis program brings Native American students together for two weeks of fun activities and learning experiences in science, technology, the arts, and culture.  Of course, this being 2020, teachers and students had to get together virtually rather than in person.  But that didn’t stop the 70 participating students from making the most of the opportunity.

The Academy kicked off July 17 with supply/technology distribution (photo at right) and a family engagement event via Google Meet that featured Makila Furcap, Miss Indian RRPS.  Then, using a Google Site and Google Classroom, students participated in gardening, cooking, STEM challenges, virtual field trips and art projects.  Elementary-age and secondary school-age students celebrated Native American cultures and traditions each day, especially during morning and afternoon virtual meetings. In addition, special guests spoke and performed for families during a series of family online sessions throughout the academy. 

Sage Cornelius playing violin

One of the performers was a genre-busting violinist, Sage Cornelius of Santa Fe, who also imparted advice about staying strong during this time and remaining true to yourself.

This year’s Summer Academy, the first presented entirely online, was co-directed by RRPS middle school teachers Eric Yazzie-Campbell and Kelly Pearce.  The RRPS Federal, Bilingual, and Native American Programs Department and the Native American Parent Advisory Council (NAPAC) support the Academy.