Gu Vo Academic After-School Program
MONDAYS, TUESDAYS, WEDNESDAYS, AND THURSDAYS: During School Year
NAAF is the only nonprofit to provide an After-School program to communities within the Tohono O’odham Nation. It is the hope of NAAF that moving forward other Districts will partner with the organization and implement their own After-School programs based on the Gu Vo model.
Community members from the District develop and manage the program, which includes extracurricular activities designed to keep students scholastically engaged as well as physically fit. Students begin each daily session with study hour where instructors provide tutoring in reading, math, science, and even the study of computer programming and robotics.
Arts and crafts classes are also part of the curriculum including painting, sewing, ceramics, and beading – skills that are incorporated into the making of traditional Tohono O’odham clothing, medicine pouches, jewelry, pottery, and holiday handicrafts such as cascarones. Also offered will be instruction in dance, pottery, cooking, language, and gardening. The idea is to teach students subjects such as math and science, but also focus on the history and practices of the Tohono O’odham Nation.
The Healthy O’odham Promotion Program (HOPP) offers fitness clinics and wellness counseling to the students. In September of 2012, HOPP was nationally recognized by the American Diabetes Association for its work towards prevention of diabetes and obesity. Their approach is culturally based and engages the students in physical fitness and nutrition. Nutritional dinners are prepared daily using The Mayo Clinic Kids’ Cookbook. Team sports, such as flag football, soccer, and softball are played to build character, boost self-esteem, and further teach the students to come together and work as a group. The goal of the Gu Vo Youth After-School Program is to establish a safe, fun, active learning environment for the students, giving them the support and incentives they need to remain enrolled in school, improve their study skills, and increase their grade point averages.