Helping Native American Students to Achieve

Cherokee speakers narrate children’s e-books for Unite for Literacy

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee language will now be shared in even more homes across the country.

This week fluent speakers in the tribe’s translation department read 10 early literacy books in the Cherokee language that were recorded for Unite for Literacy’s online e-book library.

Unite for Literacy, based in Fort Collins, Colo., currently has more than 100 e-books that parents can access for free at

The books, targeting ages 0-8, are narrated in 17 different languages, including Navajo, Spanish, Arabic and German, with Cherokee now being the 18th language offered.

“The Unite for Literacy group has a pretty far reach, and their goal is to create literacy among children,” said Roy Boney, manager of the Cherokee Language Program. “Having the option to hear Cherokee in these books is really great for the preservation of the language. We’re very happy to partner with Unite for Literacy to make this happen.”

Michael McGuffee, CEO of Unite for Literacy, says about 25,000 e-books are opened on the website per week. The Cherokee narrations are expected to be online in July.

“We want to support all children in celebrating their cultures and languages, and get culturally and linguistically relevant books in their homes,” McGuffee said. “It’s important to work with the tribes that can narrate these books so they can be listened to in English and in native languages, like Cherokee.”

Some of the books narrated in Cherokee include, “Loud and Clear” by Zaiga Cress and “Saddle Up” by Racheal Martinez.

McGuffee said the books segue into deeper conversations between children and their parents about second-language acquisition. The narrated e-books also serve as a platform for language revitalization.

For more information on the Cherokee Language Program, call 918-453-5487.

Catching the Dream


The MESBEC program is the oldest of CTD's programs. The six priority fields of study are math, engineering, science, business, education, and computers. Science includes all the medical fields. These fields are the ones in which tribes need graduates the most, and the fields in which there are the fewest Indian graduates.

The Native American Leadership Education program (NALE) is for Native students who are paraprofessionals in Indian schools, and who plan to complete their degree in education, counseling, or school administration. Since only 7% of teachers in reservation schools are Indians, the need for more Indian teachers is huge.

The Tribal Business Management program (TBM) is for students in business, finance, management, economics, banking, hotel management, and related fields who plan to work in economic development for tribes.

Scholarship Requirements

Students must be 1/4 or more degree American Indian, and be an enrolled member of a U. S. tribe. "U. S. tribe" is defined as federally recognized, state recognized, or terminated.

Students must be attending or planning on attending a college or university within the U. S. on a full-time basis that is fully accredited. Study must be at the college level, and can range from bachelor's degrees to postdoctoral study. Applicants must have excellent grades, high ACT or SAT scores, some work experience, a track record of leadership, and a strong commitment to their Indian community.

Student applying to any of these three programs are required to apply for all other sources of funding which is a minimum of forty (40), write a comprehensive essay about themselves and their plans,, and provide proof of high school completion, college admission, and tribal enrollment. "All other sources" includes federal financial aid, tribal scholarships, private scholarships, loans, and grants. The search for scholarships must be exhaustive, using the Internet, printed scholarship directories, and identification of scholarships in the student's local community.

Students should have clear goals about what they want to accomplish in life, and should have begun preparing for this work. Their goals must be related to the betterment of an Indian tribe or community. Progress toward accomplishing a goal may be demonstrated by study, work, volunteerism, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and letters of recommendation.

Our scholarship program operates nationwide. Scholarships range from $500 to $5,000 per academic year. Scholarships are awarded on merit and on the basis of the students we feel will most likely improve the lives of Indian people. CTD provides supplementary scholarship funding for those who have received college funding from other sources. Competition is very intense, with only 55% of applicants receiving scholarships.

The Board of Directors reads and ranks the applications from students. All applications and supporting materials are confidential and cannot be released to any other entity without the written consent of the applicant.

All applicants use the same application form. Please email, phone, or write your request for an application. Application must be postmarked by deadline date. If the 15th falls on a Sunday the deadline moves to the next day, Monday 16th.

Deadlines for Applications: March 15th...........Summer School 
April 15th.............Fall Semester or Quarter
September 15th....Spring Semester or Quarter

Email: Subject line: Scholarship Application Request 
Phone: (505)262-2351 ext. 116 
Mail To: Catching the Dream
Attn: Scholarship Affairs Office
8200 Mountain Road NE., Suite 203, 
Albuquerque, NM 87110

Siemens Competition
Math : Science : Technology - Deadline 9/30/14

Thank you for your interest in the 2014 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. Below are instructions on how to register for the Competition.


  • Registering is easy!  Simply indicate if you are registering as an Individual or a Team, provide your name, email address, and the area(s) of your scientific research.  NOTE: If you are registering as a Team, you will be required to provide the names and emails of all team members.
  • Once the Registration is complete, a link will be emailed to you to activate your Project Profile and complete the registration process.
  • Your Project Profile is your online dashboard that will provide student profile(s), real-time status of your project and the information you will need to submit your Research Project.
  • Submission deadline for Research Projects and additional required materials is Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 11:59pm.

Begin Registration

Questions? Contact us at 800-222-6098, or email at

Creative Writing and Explorations Camp

Let's have some fun and learn about zoo animals, our American Indian heritage and art, crafts and story telling. Join your friends and have a fun filled week.

Location: Casey Elementary School (South Austin), 9400 Texas Oaks Drive, Austin ,Tx 78748
When: June 9 - June 13, 2014, Monday through Friday
Times: Current 3rd and 4th Graders - 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (doors will open at 7:30 for breakfast)
             Current 5th and 6th Graders - 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (lunch can be served at 12:30)
Cost: None, student must be currently registered in AIEP
Activities: Austin Zoo field trip, Cultural writing and art activities, Reading
Teachers: Joan Lynn Marshall and Lee Francis, IV
Limit: 15 students per session

All registered AIEP students in grades 3-6 will receive an application. Please return the completed application to the AIEP office.

If you have any questions, please contact Diane Tigges, Program Coordinator at (512) 414-0159.

College Prep 101 - Checklists 


Title VII - Formula Grant
Office of Indian Education
Central Texas First Nations Education Consortium

Central Texas School Districts participating in the Title VII Grant for 2013-14 are Austin ISD, Bastrop ISD, Leander ISD, Liberty Hill ISD and Round Rock ISD. There are 346 registered American Indian/Alaska Native students that have the opportunity to be served this year.

Title VII Indian Education programs are funded through the Indian Education Act which was instituted in 1972 in recognition of the special educational and culturally related academic needs of Indian and Alaskan Native students. The Office of Education, U.S. Department of Education, administers programs funded by the Act. Grants are made through the department's Office of Indian Education to local educational agencies, tribal and Indian controlled schools, state educational agencies, institutions of higher education and Indian tribes, organizations and institutions. Grants are awarded on an entitlement or a competitive basis. These grant-funded projects are designed to improve educational opportunities for Indians and Alaskan Natives and to support the goal of self-determination for Indian communities. An elected parent committee in each school district helps identify those needs and how to best meet them.

Austin ISD and four other districts in Region 13 have joined together to form the Central Texas First Nations Education Consortium: Consortium Districts include: Austin ISD, Bastrop ISD, Round Rock ISD, Leander ISD, and Liberty Hill ISD. 

Each participating district who meets the minimum requirements* and is included on the e-grant application will share in the resources generated by this title program. 

Interlocal agreements establish the level of support available from the Austin Independent School District's Title VII American Indian Education Grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education (CFDA Number: 84.060) for each of the school districts that make up the Central Texas First Nations Education Consortium, as well as ongoing regional support of school-centered American Indian Education in Central Texas. 

The agreements contain a commitment to continuous improvement of the planning, training and educational process, which represents collaboration among the Central Texas First Nations Education Consortium in cooperation with local and regional school districts and the Texas Educational Agency to educate American Indian and Alaskan Native Children.  

*Only districts having a minimum of 10 Native American students with an approved 506 form may participate in the formula grant.

Who is eligible to join AIEP?
Federally recognized American Indian or Alaska Native students in grades Pre-K - 12

The parent/guardian must complete a student eligibility form (506) that indicates the student, parent, or grandparent is a member of: a tribe or band or group described in the following definition:

Definition: Indian means any individual who is (1) a member (as defined by the Indian tribe or band) of an Indian tribe or band, including those Indian tribe or bands terminated since 1940, and those recognized by the State in which the tribe or band reside; or (2) a descendent in the first or second degree (parent or grandparent) as described in (1); or (3) considered by the Secretary of the Interior to be an Indian for any purpose; or (4) an Eskimo or Aleut or other Alaska Native; or (5) a member of an organized Indian group that received a grant under the Indian Education Act of 1988 as it was in effect October 19, 1994.

Return the completed form back to your child’s school or send to the American Indian Education Program office, 3908 Avenue B, Room 205, Austin, TX.

What does the Title VII program provide?

  1. Sharpen student academic skills in the core content areas, through tutoring or special events.
  2. Enrichment programs that would otherwise be unavailable to AI/AN students.
  3. After-school programs.
  4. Basic school supplies.
  5. Snacks during meetings.

We serve as a liaison between AIEP, the Office of Indian Education and each school district Native American Parent Committees.

What does the Title VII program NOT provide?

AIEP Title VII office cannot provide:

  1. Legal advice
  2. Books or specific school supplies for personal use (with the exception of annual reading books)

Join your district Native American Parent Committee. (NAPC). It is only with the parents participation that we can grow a stronger program. Join Now!

What’s does the NAPC do?

  • Conduct regular open meetings.
  • Consult with LEA on program development, operation and evaluation.
  • You approve Part II of the application sent to Office of Indian Education (OIE).
  • Abide by reasonable by-laws.

About AIEP

All activities are free to registered AIEP students.

AIEP is funded 100% through a federal formula grant through the Office of Indian Education, U.S. Department of Education. Austin ISD is the Lead Education Agency (LEA) for this program. Our partners include:

  • Great Promise for American Indians
  • Native American Parent Committee members
  • University of Texas, Austin, Longhorn American Indian Council (LAIC)
  • We offer summer camps to all age groups.

506 Forms

Parents/Teachers: There is a new 506 form with an expiration date of 5/03/2016. If you have already filled out a 506 for your student, there is no need to complete another one.