Success Stories

School Supply Check In

An infographic showing the percentages of Program Partner schools opening virtually, in person, and combined. Percentage of AIEF Program Partner schools starting online, in person, or a combination for the Northern Plains and Southwest region.

For decades, American Indian Education Fund (AIEF) has been supporting schools serving Native American students in the Northern Plains and Southwest with much-needed school supplies. Although this academic year is very different for students throughout the world, this basic need still remains for our tribal communities.

With a lot of unknowns for school this year, many of our Program Partners did not know when or how they would be providing instruction until after Labor Day. For the Northern Plains region, we saw that 48% of our school partners began their year online, 30% began in person, and 13% started with a combination of both options. In the Southwest, virtual learning was a more popular option for our 31 partners-84% of the schools would start virtually and 13% were starting with the combination of in-school and virtual instruction.

Many of the students we serve live in rural areas with very limited access to the internet, making online learning difficult. On top of that, with schools and businesses across the nation (and world) going virtual this year, laptops and tablets are hard to come by with shipments being delayed by several weeks. Due to this, our partner schools have adjusted their strategy to "virtual learning" and
have been sending packets home until laptops and tablets can be received and distributed.

The basics (pencils, paper, rulers, erasers, etc.) are needed, now more than ever. Students are still doing physical school work, without the additional resources found at school.

This year, over 14,000 students by way of over 50 Program Partners received school supplies in AIEF's service area. Most schools had a combination of “no contact” pickups either through a drive-through option at the school or teachers delivered the items to the homes—still using “no contact” protocols. AIEF staff has not been present for most of 2020 distributions to honor the stay at home and shelter in place orders so we refer to a few of the reports to provide some appreciative feedback:

A photo of Brooklyn receiving school supplies in 2018 Brooklyn, happy to be recieving her school supplies in 2018.

“Hats off to the partnership. The teachers are very grateful to all services. This helped take some stress off parents who would normally drive an hour to the nearest town to purchase items."
-Valerie, Second Mesa School | Hopi

“The students expressed their gratitude to have their own supplies."
-Nora, Nazlini community |Navajo

“Children and parents were thankful. I wasn’t able to see their smile under their mask but I know they were happy.”
-Darlene, Newcomb Elementary | Navajo

AIEF looks forward to future distributions when we can see the smiles and hear the excitement of students receiving their very own school supplies. We are also extremely grateful for our Program Partners and the support of our donors and friends like you.

Our Mission: Serving immediate needs. Supporting long-term solutions.
Our Vision: Strong, self-sufficient Native American communities.

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