​(Peace Academic Center, Kykotsmovi, Arizona) - Happy October 2020!!! Hard to believe we are 5 weeks into school. We are holding steady at 18 students, with another 2 applications requested last week. Our brand of hybrid with the Kindle lessons, worksheets and in person one on one classes seems to be working. One of our young female students was completely inexperienced about multiplication tables, and after a week with Kindle lessons, and our super teachers, she already completed 1s, 2s, 5s, 9s and 10s. (I might add without counting the spots on the ladybugs!) The transformation with many of the students is amazing. 

Two of our young men spent time picking tomatoes in the garden before class yesterday. When it was the 2nd graders turn, I asked which lesson was his favorite on the Kindle to show me. He excitedly grabbed Photosynthesis, and flew through it, answering every question correctly. Garden to table to classroom! Reading scores continue to improve, with a volunteer who reads with each student individually for 30-45 minutes each session. 

We continue to have our challenges. Transportation remains a hardship for most of our families. Many are faced with unemployment and the harsh climate of the reservation. After several weeks of balance, Kykotsmovi recorded another 6 new cases of COVID19 last week. We were requested by the tribe to house a young man who is doing Epidemiology for the tribe. We are happy to have him on campus and to be able to do our part for the community. Volunteers, parents and staff have been working hard on the campus. All weeds have been removed from the playground and a good bit of the fields and parking lots. The former house 7 was scraped and repainted, and the newly sided cottage was also painted. We have a work group coming in October, and hope that they are able to complete the flooring in the large classroom in building 2. Our plan is to make that room a hands on lab for all ages, including reading, money, science, math and other pods. 

The garden has been such a blessing for the families and volunteers. The students came in with a 5 gallon bucket of tomatoes yesterday. They will be shared with our students’ families as well as the residents on campus. I made jalapeno jelly and jam last month, and I will be doing up tomatoes and salsa this weekend after passing out the fresh tomatoes. As our nights grow cooler, I know I will be thankful that we were able to preserve some of the goodness for the winter. 

As we are completing projects, we have added a punch list to help with the work load for day, week and long-term volunteers. We are unable to tour with them as usual, but have had meals and Lance is doing a great job of sharing Hopi culture. We will be revisiting our short and long term goals for the school soon, and completing a schedule for the spring. You all are, as always invited to visit, call or email at any time!!! 

Blessings, 

Kay Neff 

Peace Academic Center-Kykotsmovi

Contributed by Kay Neff  –  10/5/2020