PUBLISHED: 4:24 PM on Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Group awarded grant to improve education for Alaskan Natives
Central Council of Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
The Central Council of Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska in Juneau has been awarded a $538,501 grant to support the unique educational needs of its Alaska Native children and adults. The three-year Alaska Native Education Program grants will support a wide range of innovative projects-from parental involvement programs and dropout prevention to school construction and teacher training-designed to benefit Alaska native populations through enhanced teaching and learning opportunities.

"Education is the stepping-stone to a world of much greater opportunity, and this program will help more Alaskan students realize that opportunity," Secretary Spellings said. "Not only will these grants help develop and operate schools in rural Alaska, they also will help teachers better prepare their students to be successful in college or the workforce."

The Central Council's Model Program to Prevent Alaska Native Student Dropouts will establish an accurate inventory of the risk factors that Native dropouts have, calculate how influential these risk factors are in predicting who drops out and develop plans based on incorporating strategies that research says will keep students in school. Activities include developing a scientifically-based, computer-assisted "Dropout Early Warning System" that accurately predicts which Native students are most likely to drop out and at what point in their school career this is most likely to happen, facilitating eight middle and four high school teams' use of research-based best practices that are infused with cultural knowledge and perspective, revising/creating and implementing effective dropout prevention programs for Native youth and increasing the number of Native students who stay in school. The program has the potential to serve 1,300 Native students statewide.

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