Jana's Kids Foundation, Jana Mashonee
I got a personal note from Jana Mashonee about her foundation for Native American youth the other day. A personal note from Jana? Well, actually, I got a notification along with over ten thousand others folks on my Facebook page about a new web site that's been developed to help create awareness of the needs of Native American children.
Jana's Kids Foundation offers scholarships to Native American children in academic, artistic and athletic categories. Yearly, the foundation solicits applications from high school students in the United States and Canada and three young people are awarded scholarships. (Jana's Kids is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit and donations are tax deductible.)
The scholarship program is a tall order by itself but there is more under the umbrella of Jana's Kids.
Excellent Photo by Rene Fourneaux
When Jana is on the road she often meets with Native American youth and gives motivational speeches, mini concerts and talks for them. From her web site:
"Jana addresses the issues of cultural pride and identity, motivation and ambition, education, alcohol, tobacco, and drug awareness, and gang association. She proactively involves her audiences in this extraordinary interactive experience. Music, lecture, questions, answers and demonstrations are the main components of this entertaining, and motivational experience."
She uses the book and CD American Indian Story, The Adventures of Sha'kona, in presentations to kids in schools. The kids get the book and CD after they sign up for the program. They are then required to read the book at home for at least thirty minutes a day, finish the book by an assigned date, attend an orientation and at least two book discussions and then they get to meet with Jana for a final book discussion.
From literature provided by Jana's Kids Reading for life Program:
"American Indians have the highest educational dropout and illiteracy rates of any racial or ethnic group and are more likely than other groups to be labeled learning handicapped or disabled."
We're in a recession. I suppose I could be labeled a conservative, but this paragraph probably sounds very liberal. I believe that the poorest among us suffer the most during bad economic times. No racial, religious, or ethnic group has gotten a worse deal in the land of the free and the home of the brave than the American Indian.
Having said that, I challenge you to go to a Native American music concert or a pow wow and experience the peace, the grace and the pride of these folks! I have. It's impressive. I recently attended my first pow wow over in Rock Hill, S. C. hosted by the Catawba Indian Tribe. Even though I did not exactly understand everything that was going on, I still enjoyed watching the dancing, seeing the costumes and checking out the vendors.
My stepson, Mark and I were made to feel welcome and one local artist gave Mark a CD of music he was selling. (I assume because Mark is handicapped.) When my wife tried to insist on paying him, the man’s teen age son politely said “We will not take your money. I hope you enjoy the music.”
Last week I had the opportunity to listen to a few Native American Storytellers at USC-Lancaster. Chief Rogers of the Catawba Tribe told two or three stories and then apologized as he became emotional as he spoke of children and the colors of his costume. "Red and yellow, black and white" were part of the lyrics to the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children" before political correctness reared it's banal head.
Clearly, Chief Rogers believes we are all one tribe. I think I've heard those words before .....
Chief Rogers is the man in the middle.
The link below will take you directly to the web page Jana sent. It is an outfit called Razoo that helps people raise money and awareness. I signed up two days ago and have not gotten any spam or any other kind of junk mail! At least sign up as a fan of Jana's as this will help get the site recognized. If you're Donald Trump, drop a couple of mill in the pot. If you're not and can afford a few bucks (can I say that here?), please donate. I can assure you the money will be put to good use.
- Jana\'s Kids Scholarship Fund - Razoo
Jana's Kids Foundation awards scholarships to Native Youth to help them to achieve their dreams.