CORONAVIRUS: STRONGER TOGETHER

Groups Pack 1,700 Kits For Students On Navajo Nation Affected By Pandemic

Oct 23, 2020, 2:15 PM | Updated: 2:19 pm

KAYENTA, Ariz. – Students in the Navajo Nation now have much-needed school supplies thanks to more than 150 donors across the country.

The team dropped off more than 1,700 education packs on Thursday.

Items such as pencils and paper aren’t the type of school supplies you’d normally stress over when it comes to your child’s education. But the pandemic has sent children across the country home and forced a new kind of learning, and those supplies don’t come easily in every part of the country.

“In these places we visit, some of these kids have to go to a hill just to sit there next to a sage brush on a sand dune to see if their little hot spot will work or to see if their cell phone can connect to their Chromebook, if they have one, to be able to see what their teacher is trying to tell them,” said Mylo Fowler, Native American community liaison.

Fowler grew up on the Navajo Reservation, which stretches from southern Utah into northern Arizona and extends into northwestern New Mexico.

Homes on the reservation don’t have running water or electricity, not to mention WiFi or lights to keep on after the sun sets.

“I did all my homework under a kerosene lamp … in front of my wood-burning stove in my house,” Fowler said. “So I fell behind in my grades, and that kept me from being able to participate in things like sports.”

“The hill is harder to climb, and this allows the kids to at least have a little bit of a jumpstart in that challenge we have,” he added.

On Thursday, the Heart of America, Swinerton Renewable Energy, Goal Zero and The Real Salt Lake Foundation headed to the Navajo Nation – and they didn’t go empty-handed.

“We’re packing 1,700 distance learning kits,” Fowler said. “One-hundred are going to stay here in Salt Lake City and the rest are going down to Kayenta, Arizona, which is just a little south of Utah on the Reservation.”

The kits include school and art supplies, grade-appropriate books, hand sanitizers, masks and wipes. They also include a solar lantern so kids can study after the sun goes down.

Students will also get STEM solar cars to put together.

“You just never know what domain a kid’s going to go through,” Fowler said. “With STEM activities, it allows them to be able to put a model solar car together and see the science behind how that is able to move in the middle of nowhere.”

He said even before the pandemic, education on the reservation was a struggle.

“The education gap that exists among the Navajo Nation really isn’t a sliver,” he noted. “It’s like the Grand Canyon, if you think about it.”

This is the sixth time the groups are taking kits to students on the Reservation, and Fowler said they’re already seeing a difference.

“With the pandemic, this is really helping the teachers and the students continue to learn,” he said. “We’re finding that some teachers have even developed curriculum around the (packets’ contents), which is really cool.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus: Stronger Together

...
Debbie Worthen, KSL TV

Utah County couple gives Minky Couture blankets to medical team at Utah Valley Hospital

Russell Greene doesn't call himself a COVID-19 survivor, he calls himself a COVID-19 miracle. His family thanked medical workers for saving his life.
2 months ago
Salt Lake City's streets were deserted in the early days of the pandemic. (KSL TV)...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

A reporter looks back on two years of pandemic in Utah

Two years ago on March 11, 2020, the world changed for many Americans as COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. Today, things are slowly getting back to normal. 
2 months ago
(KSL TV)...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

U Hospital staff ‘moving mountains’ to beat back omicron surge 

Unlike other parts of the country, the surge in omicron cases has not peaked yet in Utah. According to a top doctor at University of Utah Hospital, the facility was full, and staffing was thin but caregivers remained determined in their mission. 
4 months ago
The Window Rock formation is illuminated on March 17 in Window Rock, Arizona during an event to rem...
Heather Simonsen, KSL TV

Frontline health care workers of color bridge racial gap in time of COVID-19

Lack of trust and access to services has caused devastation during COVID-19 for Utah's communities of color.  
5 months ago
Intermountain Medical Center (KSL TV)...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Intermountain Healthcare studies getting COVID-19 patients off ventilators quicker 

Mechanical ventilators are the last resort for COVID-19 patients when their lungs have been ravaged, and they can no longer breathe. However, the treatment comes with risks.  
6 months ago
(KSL TV)...
Tamara Vaifanu, KSL TV

Utah thanks frontline workers for dedication during pandemic 

State leaders joined health care professionals Monday to thank Utah's frontline health care workers for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Make Money Online Easily...

4 Ways that You Can Make Money Online Easily in Just a Few Clicks

Here are 4 ways that you can make money online easily in no time at all! Some are as simple as just a few clicks away.
tips to winterize your home...
Bonneville Digital SLC

Tips to Winterize Your Home | The Top 5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Cold Utah Winter Ahead

Before the snow hits, here are the top 5 tips to winterize your home to prepare for the cold Utah winter this year.
Groups Pack 1,700 Kits For Students On Navajo Nation Affected By Pandemic