Native American students explore options at Science, Arts & Humanities focus programs
Fourteen Native American students from across Lincoln Public Schools recently spent a day at the LPS Science and Arts and Humanities focus programs, a learning experience made possible by a new, federally-funded initiative aimed at improving the education opportunities for this group of students.
The students, ages middle school through high school, spent the morning at the Arts and Humanities Focus Program, located near Lincoln High School at 25th and Randolph streets. They created “blind” contour drawings of themselves that explored several overarching themes: How they see themselves, how others see them and how the world affects how they see themselves.
At the Science Focus Program, located at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, the students participated in dissection, chemistry and physics small-group activities, as well as lessons at Antelope Creek that focused on botany, ecology and geology.
During both visits, students learned more about the focus programs, such as how to apply and what a typical day looks like for their students. Both focus programs are for students in grades nine through 12. Students spend part of their mornings at their home high school before attending their focus program for the rest of the day. Students can still take part in extracurricular activities, clubs and events at their home high school.
The focus program visits were made possible by the LPS Native Youth College and Career Readiness Project, a new initiative funded through a four-year, $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The project’s coordinator, Barbara Buttes, said the visits encouraged students to dream big.
“This type of exciting learning experience provides Native students with exposure to potential career paths they may have otherwise not considered,” she said. “Our Native students have limitless potential and we intend to celebrate their growth and achievements. They showed me that their futures are wide open.”
Kurt Glathar, principal for both of the focus programs, said he looks forward to hosting similar events in the future.
“We believe this is a valuable opportunity to connect with a group of students that have great potential, but are underrepresented in our focus programs,” he said. “The teachers at both the focus programs really enjoyed the day with our Native American students.”
The students will take a similar trip to The Career Academy on a later date.
Published: July 10, 2019, Updated: July 11, 2019