Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Barona Donation Helps 'Soaring Eagles' With Computer Equipment

Presenting the donation check to Ballard Parenet Center
The Barona Band of Mission Indians has given a $5,000 education grant to the Soaring Eagles Workshop, an education program for Native American students at San Diego Unified's Harold J. Ballard Parent Center in Old Town.

The funds will be used to purchase laptop computers, flash drives and calculators for the Soaring Eagles Workshop, an after-school cultural arts program. Part of the Center's Title VII American Indian Education program, the Soaring Eagles provide Native American/Alaskan Native students in  kindergarten through grade 12 with an opportunity to learn traditional ceremonies and tribal customs.

Assembly member Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) joined Ballard Center Director Beatrice Fernandez in accepting the grant, which was presented by Edwin "Thorpe" Romero, chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians.
"The students who attend the Soaring Eagles Workshop are often removed from their tribal reservations, traditional tribal ceremonies and customs," said Vicky Gambala, program organizer.

"We are pleased to support this important program that encourages students to participate in these culturally enriching activities," said Barona Tribal Chairman Edwin "Thorpe" Romero, "improving their self concept and cultural pride, which impacts their success in school and life."

The Barona Education Grant Program, created and administered by Tribal Government, is the first of its kind in California. The goal of the program is to create strong educational opportunities for the children of California by building upon the success of the Barona Indian Charter School, which operates under a continuous improvement model.

Schools throughout California can apply for educational grants from Barona to purchase much-needed supplies and materials that promote academic improvement. Each grant awarded by the Barona Education Grant Program is $5,000. The Barona Band of Mission Indians has been sharing resources through its Barona Education Grant Program since 2006, awarding more than $1 million to more than 200 schools statewide.

The Barona Band of Mission Indians is recognized by the United States government as a sovereign Nation. For more information, visit the tribe's website.

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