Participating Schools

Listed below are the many unique way that schools celebrate their cultures and reading.

Reading Activities


Native Culture and Language


Reading Activities


1. Tribal schools promote reading and writing through author and storyteller visits. Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt visited students at Hopi Jr/Sr High Schools new literature club. Source: Navajo-Hopi Observer, 21 October 2004

2. The Cove Day School in Red, Valley Arizona sponsored a summer reading program called “Summer Read to Achieve.” The American Indian Education Foundation supplied incentives for the children including pencils, erasers, and scissors.

3. Navajo students at Kayenta Intermediate School participated in a Traditional Foods Day in the school cafeteria in February. Elders demonstrated how to make and eat traditional foods such as mush and blue corn pancakes. Source: Kayenta Intermediate School Web site

4. The library at Monument Valley High School in Kayenta, Arizona sponsors an Afterschool Library Program, Monday through Thursday, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Adults are especially open during Monday night late hours, 6-9 p.m. Source: School Web site.

5. Library staff at Monument Valley High School in Kayenta, Arizona provides an orientation for all freshmen English classes. Source: School Web site.

6. For 14 years students in the Reading is Fundamental Club at suburban Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Arizona have delivered free books to each child and to the library at St. Peter Indian Mission School on the Gila River Reservation. Source: Native Village.

7. Students at Gila Crossing Community School maintain a Poetry Web site on the school’s Web site where they post their original poetry. Source: School Web site at

8. St. Francis Indian School offers a Lakota Immersion Classroom based on Lakota values. Source: School Web site

9. Dine (tribal) College’s Center for Dine Teacher Education sponsors an annual Dine Language Arts Fair, a competition for young students studying Navajo in their schools. Competition categories include reader’s theater, poetry, choral reading, joke telling, group and solo singing. Source: Canku Ota, 17 April 2004, Issue 111.


10. The John F. Kennedy Day School on the White Mountain Apache Reservation featured the KinderApache Song and Dance Project to promote Apache language through music to the youngest school children. Source: Shanklin,M. Trevor, Carla Paciotto, and Greg Prater, “KinderApache Song and Dance eProject in Reyhner, Jon, Teaching Indigenous Languages ( Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University, 199), 77-84.

11. Students in grades 4, 5, and 6 at Santa Clara Day School serve as student library assistants. These students receive library training every week as well as work with classes of students when they visit the library. Source: School Web site at

12. The library at Santa Clara Day School in New Mexico offers a winter reading program called LIFT, Literacy in the Family Time. Students and parents read new books together, create art projects based on themes in the book, and then add the book to their home collections. Source: Santa Clara Day School Web site at  

13. Kindergarten students at Santa Clara Day School in New Mexico are paired with Fifth grade reading buddies. The paired students meet every Friday for 45 minutes to read and work on craft projects. Source: School Web site at   Check: National Indian School Board Association and the BIA: Creating Sacred Places for Children

14. Students in grades 4-6 at Santa Clara Day School in New Mexico can join the Techcorps. Techcorps members work on the school Web site, install software, and assist in troubleshooting. Source: Santa Clara Day School 2002-2003 Techncorps Brochure.  

15. Kyrene del Milenio School, a public school in Arizona, offered the Summer Links Program for Native students preparing to enter grades K-5. Students learned about the cultures of Arizona tribe along with reading support. Source: The Arizona Republic , 25 June 2003  


16. Indian Hill Elementary, a public school in Omaha, Nebraska, organizes a summer-school for Native children. Students receive feathers denoting brave acts they conduct during class, such as singing. Source: Omaha World Herald, 16 February 2000.  

17. Willpinit School District on the Spokane reservation in Washington state provides classroom teacher support in order to increase student performance. Teachers receive pay comparable to that given to teachers in the large city of Spokane, a laptop, subsidized housing, free meals when eaten with students, and receive funds to purchase teaching supplies. Staff meetings last no longer than 30 minutes. Each classroom has its own copy machine and a full-time teaching assistant. Students also receive support: students who read below grade level attend two reading classes a day. Source: "Scrambling for Staff: The Teacher Shortage in Rural Schools," Education World online, 10 January 2000.  

18. The Fort Belknap Indian Community in Harlem, Montana organizes family reading nights. Source: Native American Library Services Enhancement Grant 2004. Http://     

19. The tribal library for the Lummi Tribe in Bellingham, Washington hosts holiday events that provide literacy and distributes literacy kits to students, their parents, daycare centers, and the Head Start program. Source: Native American Library Services Enhancement Grant 2004. Http://  

20. The tribal library at the Pueblo of Santa Clara in Espanola, New Mexico offers elder/grandchild reading programs. Source: Native American Library Services Enhancement Grant 2004. Http://

21. The Miami Tribe of Library offers a Books for Babies program. Source: Native American Library Services Enhancement Grant 2004. Http://

22. The Kim Yerton Memorial Library serves the Hoopa Valley Tribe in Hoopa , California with a program called “Chalk it Up for Books,” with music, food, art displays and a book exchange. See the tribal Web site at  

23. The Kim Yerton Memorial Library serves the Hoopa Valley Tribe in Hoopa , California. The library offers literacy tutoring for patrons 16 years and older through its program called Daily Learn to Read! See the tribal Web site at  


24. The Office of Indian Education Programs of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs sponsors the F.A.C.E. (Family and Child Education) Program at over 20 tribal schools. F.A.C.E. services are designed for children, preschool to grade 5, and their parents and may include GED preparation for parents, books for the home, and school readiness.  

25. The Ayaprun Charter School is a Yup’ik language immersion charter school in Alaska. Students in grades K-2 are in total immersion classrooms. Grade 3 is taught three-fourths of the time in the Yup’ik language, and students in grades 4-6 are in half-day immersion classes. Source: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory Spring 2004 NW Education magazine.  

26. “If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything” has sponsored online chats between tribal schools on reading themes. Schools receive passwords to protected chat rooms that are monitored by “If I Can Read” staff. Students receive instructions on netiquette prior to the chats. Popular chat topics are scary stories and favorite books. Instructors can download chat text so students can complete the stories in language arts classes.

27. The Ann Arbor District Library sponsors “World of Reading,” a Web site where children around the world can post book reviews. Find the site at  

28. At the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Library and Education Center students created a paper leaf for each book read. Readers then attached their leaves to a 6 foot tall paper and wire tree. Source: site visit  

29. The library at the Indian Island School in Maine sponsored a Fall Scary Stories Open Mike event. Students told scary stories during the evening event and received small incentives from a treasure box. Source: personal communication.  


30. Leupp Public School on the Navajo Nation initiated a 5-year program to advance Navajo and English language schools. Reading components included:    

a. Sustained Silent Reading: students and adults started the school day by reading silently for 15 minutes

b. Read Across the Rez: students competed to see who could read the most books

c. Books in the Home: student homes received 10 books a year

d. Expanded Library Hours. Source : Fillerup, Michael, “Racing Against Time: A Report on the Leupp Navajo Immersion Project,” in Reyhner, Joseph Martin, Louise Lockard, and W. Sakiestewa Gilbert, eds., Learn in Beauty: Indigenous Education for a New Century ( Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University, 2000), 2-34.

31. Students at some tribal schools participate in Battle of the Books, competing with students from other schools in remembering details about books on a set reading list. Students attending Igiuigig School in Alaska start preparing for Battle of the Books during their Summer Reading Club. See the school newsletters linked from

35. Elementary school children at Igiuigig School in Alaska create books about field trip experiences. See the school newsletters linked from  

36. Students in the Summer Reading Club at Igiuigig School in Alaska record the number of books and total pages read to earn events such as a barbecue and banana split party. Weekly student and adult reading club winners receive certificates for a free sweet treat. All students receive certificates and overall winners receive gift certificates to use at the school’s spring Book Fair. See the school newsletters linked from  

 37. For over 20 years the Skykomish Valley Indian Education program has operated for students in two school districts in Washington. Monroe – Circle of Learning—the program operates a summer reading program. Students in the summer reading program earn money to buy books through raising pledges. Source: The Seattle Times.  


38. Students at the Alamo Navajo Community School and the Bread Springs Day Schools in New Mexico use reading logs to record time spent reading. Source:  

39. Crownpoint School (T’iis Ts’ozi Bi’olta) uses DEAR, Drop Everything and Read, to encourage student, staff, and faculty reading. Source:  

40. Tribal schools on the northern Pueblos of New Mexico organize their own Battle of the Books competition each spring. Source: Santa Clara Day School

41. Students in grade 3 to 6 who need assistance in reading at Apache Elementary School in New Mexico can participate in SOAR to Success. Here they work in small groups to improve reading skills through reading, discussing, and predicting reading content. More information about SOAR to Success, a commercial program, is available at  

42. A number of tribal schools, including Rock Point Community School (Navajo) and Ojo Encino Day School (Navajo) use the Accelerated Reading (AR) Program to help promote independent, leisure reading among students. In AR, students select a book to read and take a quiz on a computer to assess their learning. Students earn points from passing tests and, in some schools, can cash in points for small gifts. Students earn certificates for passing from one reading level to the next. For more information about AR see  



1. Have you heard about Sla-Hal? This is a traditional bone game played among the Lummi people. Read instructions about the game at: This information is posted on a Web site by the Lummi Day School near Bellingham, Washington.

Native Culture and Language


1. The Akwesasne Freedome School of the Mohawk Nation in Rooseveltown, New York serves children in grades Pre-K through 8 was founded in 1979. Reading is taught according to Kanien’keha: ka, the Mohawk Ceremonial Year of 15 ceremonies beginning with a Midwinter ceremony and concluding with an End of Season ceremony. For more information and the text of the Mohawk Thanksgiving address at this Native language immersion school see    

2. The Euchee (Yuchi) Tribe sponsors a summer language camp for tribal youth. Source: The Oklahoman, 19 April 2004.  

3. The University of California at Berkeley’s Linguistics Department and Indigenous California Language Survival collaborated to develop the Master Apprentice Program, pairing Native teens with adult mentors on language support for 10 to 20 hour a week. Source: UC Berkeley News, 4 June 2004.    

4. Students at Lummi Day School started a Poetry Club. Members met to read published poetry and write and read their poems to each other. Source: Conversation with school staff.

5. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe offers a “Lakota Word of the Day” on its Web site. See  

6. At the University of Alberta (Canada), undergraduate and graduate aboriginal students mentor elementary, junior, and senior students in the Wapahtihew (Cree for he/she shows something to him/her) program. Among other services is one-on-one tutoring in language arts. Source; The Vancouver Sun, 3 August 2004.  

7. The tribal school at Quileute (Washington) hosts an event every two weeks called “First Cup of Coffee.” Parents and others are invited to meet with teachers, view children’s work, and enjoy coffee and a pastry. Source: private communication.  

8. The Shannon County School District in South Dakota has developed and implemented Lakota Studies Standards for students in grades K-8. Included is the expectation that students will be able to read, write, and speak Lakota. For more information see the District’s Web site at  


9. In the UW Pipeline Project, a service-learning program, undergraduate students at the University of Washington worked with teachers from Paschal Sherman Indian School to assist students in grades K-12 to create books they wrote, illustrated, printed, and bound. See the University of Washington Education Partnerships and Learning Technologies Web site at  

10. Students in the Lakota cultural class at St. Francis Indian School on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota smudge twice a day, before class and after recess break. Smudging is the burning of a sacred plant, usually sage, and waving the smoke over one’s body to purify it. Source: Argus Leader, 25 January 2004.  

11. Fifth grade students at Taos Pueblo Day School wrote family history stories that they posted on a Web site. Most stories feature an clickable image of the student that features an autobiographical poem. Find more at  

12. The Indian Island School library in Maine features two 12 foot tall carved polls and tapestries designed by students that illustrate the Penobscot tribal clans. Source: “Teachers on Mission to Save Heritage.”  

13. Each day at the Beatrice Rafferty School in Maine begins with a student reciting the Passamaquoddy word of the day over the intercom. Source: “Teachers on Mission to Save Heritage.”  

14. The reading awards ceremony at Indian Island School in Maine also features Penobscot traditional songs, dance, and drumming. Source: “Teachers on Mission to Save Heritage.”  

15. Elementary school children at Igiuigig School in Alaska are assigned a list of words they have to say in one minute. Once they learn one list, they move to a list with more difficult words. See the school newsletters linked from  

16. The Jake Thomas Memorial Library Resource Center in Wilsonville, Ontario, Canada hosts Native language workshops in Cayuga, Mohawk, and Onandaga languages as well as classes on traditional art such as cornhusk weaving, wampum bead and jewelry making and rattle making. See the tribal Web site linked form  


17. The Oneida Community Library in Wisconsin hosts an Oneida language coloring book on its Web site. These pages are used during Oneida Language Family Sharing/Activity time every Wednesday night starting at 6 p.m. For more, see the link on  

18. The Oneida Community Library in northern Wisconsin offers a Youth Appreciation Bash during the week between Christmas and New Years Day. Special events are scheduled for youth during each day including a Poetry Slam. For more information see the Web site linked from  

19. The Oneida Community Library in Wisconsin has a student library organization, SLAP (Student Library Action Party), that provides input in programming and acquisition of materials for teens. SLAP members also host a party during the four days of Youth Appreciation Bash in December. Source: Web site linked from  

20. Students at Hannahville Indian School in Michigan wrote poetry that was compiled into a published book, The Hannahville Poets. For more information see the school’s Web site linked from the BIA’s Office of Indian Education Programs,  

21. Children under five years old may receive books for the home if their trip is affiliated with singer/songwriter Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program. See  

22. The Blackwater Community School on the Gila River Reservation in Arizona participates in CLIP, a Collaborative Literacy Intervention Program where first grades receive tutoring for 30 minutes a day over 8 to 20 weeks. CLIP was developed in Arizona at the Tempe Elementary District.  

23. Students attending the Ganado Primary School on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona participate in Wee Deliver, a national program sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service. Students, faculty and administrators in the school write, deliver and read around 85 letters per day. Source: “A Holistic Approach to Language and Culture,” Implementing Schoolwide Projects, May 1994.  

24. Students compete annually in the Independent-Navajo Nation Spelling Bee. Winners advance to the national spelling bee. Maniaci, Jim, “On Your Mark, Get Set, Spell! Navajo Spelling Bee Soon Underway,” Gallup Independent, 2003.  


25. Tribal school students produce their own publications. Students attending Cibecue Community School in Arizona publish their own magazine called Bizhii. Students attending Hotevilla Bacavi Community School publish “Tales in Hopi Language.” Students at Leupp Boarding School publish “Today a Leupp.” Source: Directory of Indigenous Education Resources: WestEd Region.  

26. Students at Greyhills High School on the Navajo Nation have their own radio station, KGHR-FM, in Tuba City, Arizona. Source: Navajo Times.  

27. Students at Bread Springs Day School organize Town Day on Thursdays, to combine experiential learning in language arts activities. Source:  

28. Choctaw Students attending Bogue Chitto Elementary School, Choctaw Cenral Middle School, and Choctaw Central High School in Mississippi who have earned academic achievements are recognized at the annual academic banquet.  

29. Kayeta Primary School on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona offers the Saturday Family Literacy Project. Parents teach lessons on these days which cover topics related to Navajo and other cultures, including Japanese and Hawaiian.    

30. Elderhostel arranges for elderly volunteers to tutor students at five schools in Arizona, including Mexican Hat Elementary School, Monument Valley High School’s Nest and Gray Mountain Schools on Navajo and Hopi Day School-Second Mesa Elementary School on the Hopi Reservation. Source:    

31. Tribal schools have received library grants:

*Success for All
*Drop Everything And Read (DEAR)
*KEEP: Hawaiian Kamehameha Early Education Program
*Alan Duff’s Books for the Home
*LEAP (Learning Enrichment Acceleration Program) (Literacy Empowers All People)
*Pizza Hut and Reading is fundamental, Inc.
*Ganada: Project Success
*Ganada: Taking Turns
*Engage Learning


*Learning Record
*Creating Sacred Places
*F.A.C.E.: sponsored by the BIA’s OIEP for families with children from prenatal through 8. Features PACT, Parent and Child Time for one hour in a classroom.
*Guided Reading takes place in classrooms: heavy teaching before students read, light teaching during reading, heaving teaching after reading.
*6 + 1 Traits Writing Student Assistance Program
*Waterford Early Reading Program
*Laura Bush Grants
*Born to Learn
*Low Mountain Boarding School (Chinle): Has a family literacy program Lakota Culture Institute
*Chi Ch’il Tah/Jones Ranch Community School, Vanderwagon, NM: certified librarian on staff
*Literacy Enrichment Advancement Program: Crownpoint
*CIRC Reading program: Na’Neelzhiin Ji Olta’, Cuba
*Indian Island : Student/Senior Citizen Cultural Exchange; Penobscot Culture Program divided into 3 components; Native Studies, Penobscot Language, and Campout Program
*Write One Language Arts Program: Red Water Elementary School, Mississippi
*Sing, Spell, Read and Write Curriculum: Tucker Elementary School, Mississippi
*Star Program; continuation of AR
*Reading Counts: Dilcon
*Back to Basics Curriculum: Dilcon
*Disney Learning Partner
*Breadloaf Teacher Network
*Hotevilla-Bacavi Community School : Library program with full time librarian
*Keams Canyon Boarding School : Quarterly Family Fun nights
*Bahweting Anishinabe School: Structured Reading Series
*Bug O Nay Ge Shig School: Family activity nights
*Circle of Nations School: Evening Learning Opportunity (ELO, after school curriculum two hours 4 X weekly