Success Stories

Outfitting A Family

Monica pictured with one of her daughters, Caili Monica, a mother of six (left), lives in Jemez Pueblo.

We recently visited with Monica, a mother of six, who was enjoying a quiet moment to herself in her home located in Jemez Pueblo.

Three of her children had already graduated. The younger ones were spread out between the 3rd, 6th and 7th grades. She has appreciated the education all her children have received at the San Diego Riverside School. She added, “All the kids started at Riverside. It's a small setting where the classrooms are around 10 students, but never more than 15 assigned to one class.

Monica and her middle-school aged daughter looked through the backpacks provided through PWNA’s American Indian Education Fund (AIEF) School Supplies service and could see that several of the items were part of the required school supplies they needed.

Photo of San Diego Riverside School admin building with it's purple doors. Monica has appreciated the education all her children have received at the San Diego Riverside School.

With three children in school, Monica was anticipating a day of perusing the three different lists for the various grades and purchasing items. She explained that the requested items “go beyond the basics… Ziploc baggies, head phones, jump drives and paper towels! To purchase everything in the list I would guess that's it's going to be $120-$130 (per child). Last year alone I had to replace headphones three times!"

Monica prided herself in being a budget shopper, especially for clothes, but extended this conservative approach to school supplies as well. She added, "We keep backpacks if they’re in good shape." Fortunately, she shopped throughout the year to see if she could take advantage of some off season deals.

All this pre-planning and budgeting was important. According to the estimates provided by the Huntington Backpack Index, it would cost Monica $2,662 to equip the three elementary and middle school children for the 2017-2018 school year. She was clearly a seasoned shopper, if she was able to save over $500 per child compared with the Backpack Index of $660+ per child.

AIEF’s School Supply service helped Monica and other Native families reallocate precious resources to other essentials their children needed in and out of school. As Monica said, "It helps a lot... anything for school supplies."

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