The Classroom Amasani Program was created to increase awareness of the traditional life of the Navajo Elders and to build understanding through ongoing communication. The program provides educational materials for classroom use and opportunities for students to develop relationships with Navajo Elders, thus promoting a bridge between cultures and generations. An Elder may be adopted for one school year or continue with subsequent classes.
There are many ways of supporting an Elder. Here are a few ideas that may meet the needs of your classroom and what you might want your students to experience.
One Arizona elementary school took on the project as a school and held competitions between classrooms to collect canned foods. In some cases, the students in the classroom collect cans of food or other items needed by the Elder, and then make arrangements to have them mailed to her.
Another elementary school class had each child put their handprint on a piece of fabric that was then quilted together by other volunteers from a local church. The quilt was a gift beyond price - forming another portion of the bridge between cultures.
Some classrooms have even prepared traditional Navajo food (fry bread and Navajo Tacos) and sold them at school gatherings. The proceeds from the food stand were used to purchase food certificates and yarn boxes for the Elders.
For those educators not wanting to commit to a classroom or school adoption, we have Educational Packets, newsletter on CD's , and a Navajo Language Packet for purchase.
Several resources are available online to help with the adoption process or provide additional materials to help with educational projects:
- Order Form : Use this downloadable form for adoptions or to order any of the materials that we make available.
- Service Projects Packet: Includes volunteer opportunities and has lists of necessary items that the Elders could use to make their lives more comfortable.
- Book List : A list of books that we recommend for further study about Navajo culture and Native Americans.
- Websites: A list of web sites of potential interest to anyone wishing to further study about Navajos or Native Americans.
Contact Information: Please call the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program office at 801-474-0535 or email us. Mention "Amasani Program".