Cherokee Nation gives $195K to area Boys & Girls Club programs
From left to right are Cherokee Nation Career Services Executive Director Diane Kelley, Chief of Staff Todd Enlow, Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, Tribal Councilor Shawn Crittenden, Boys & Girls Clubs of Adair County Schools CEO Kristal Diver, CN Education Services Executive Director Corey Bunch, Boys & Girls Clubs of Adair County Schools Director of Operation Leslie Cochran, Tribal Councilor Canaan Duncan and Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation officials recently gave $195,000 to eight Boys & Girls Club programs throughout northeast Oklahoma.
Recipients consisted of clubs in Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Rogers, Sequoyah and Washington counties.
Donation amounts are based on the number of Native American students in each program. The eight area programs combined serve nearly 13,000 students, with about 60 percent being Native.
“Some of our biggest partners in childhood development are the local chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Local clubs empower our youth. Because of their involvement with Boys & Girls Clubs, those children have one more positive influence in their young lives. One of the most important functions provided by these clubs is a safe place for Cherokee kids to go before and after school.”
Since 2008, the CN has given more than $2.5 million to help Boys & Girls Club programs across the tribe’s reservation. The clubs aim to develop character and leadership skills among the students.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted programs and services. Still, many of the clubs volunteered to assist with distance learning to help students who don’t have access to internet or a computer to help complete their coursework.
The CN funding will help support club programs as well as online distance learning. Funds will also help purchase disinfectant and social-distancing supplies.
The Boys & Girls Club of Adair County operates multiple units, with more than 83 percent of their 2,343 participants being Native. Its portion of this year’s contribution is more than $48,600.
“If the schools go virtual, we would house the kids that aren’t able to stay home due to parents or guardians that are employed and unable to find adequate care during this pandemic,” Boys & Girls Clubs of Adair County Schools CEO Kristal Diver said. “We are looking at purchasing dividers to help with social distancing, as well as masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, thermometers, cleaning supplies and many other items needed to keep them safe. This funding will help us tremendously. The funds will allow us to keep our kids safe, while helping us keep our club doors open.”
In addition, the CN donated more than $75,000 to 18 schools, churches and nonprofit organizations that participate in backpack programs to provide students with school supplies and after-school snacks.
The organizations partnering with the tribe for the backpack programs serve 3,227 students, with more than 50 percent being Native.
“Every year, backpack programs make a positive impact on the lives of children in need within the Cherokee Nation’s reservation. And with the current pandemic among us, these efforts are more important than ever before,” said Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. “We have been working closely with the Council of the Cherokee Nation to make these funds available and to assess the broader issues of food insecurity brought on by COVID-19. Nothing is more important than safety and security at this time.”
The tribe donated funds from its donations and charitable contributions budget. This year, partnering programs received $45.83 per enrolled Native student served. Donations by County
Adair County, $48,691.66
Delaware County, $16,826.88
Green Country, $4,226.17
Sequoyah County, $13,119.27
Tahlequah, $85,638.21 Donations by Program
Hulbert Schools, $5,499.09
Okay Public Schools, $687.39
Tahlequah Schools, $6,232.30
First Baptist Church in Warner, $3,436.93
Chandler Road Church of Christ in Muskogee, $641.56
Eastern Heights Baptist Church in Muskogee, $2,978.67
First United Methodist Church in Muskogee, $1,053.99
Oasis Community Church in Muskogee, $1,374.77
The Bod Church in Roland, $458.26
Hillside Pentecostal in Gans, $1,008.17
Lee’s Chapel Assembly of God in Muldrow, $733.21
New Life Full Gospel Church in Stilwell, $24,012.68
Craig County Neighbors Helping Neighbors, $2,199.63
Agape Mission of Bartlesville, Inc., $9,165.14
Boys and Girls Club of Nowata, $4,720.05
Oologah United Methodist Church, $916.51
Salvation Army-Rogers County in Claremore, $9,165.14
Chouteau-Mazie Schools, $916.51