By Tami Watt, Editor. Photos by Seneca Media.
The Faithkeepers School (FKS) graciously accepted the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation grant award in the amount of $25,000 which helps fund the agricultural aspect used for traditional teachings and language lessons. They also used this time to give thanks to all whom have helped the students and school in many ways.
Another generous donation was also presented to the traditional school from the non-profit organization, Agwadeyesta’ Doge:h, during their end of the year report. The check was presented to Sandy Dowdy from Donald White in the amount of $5,600, the proceeds from the fundraiser meat raffle held in late 2019.
The Agwadeyesta’ Doge:h has been instrumental in providing aid to the FaithKeepers School by sponsoring two Montessori scholarships, ten iPads for FKS language program through public school funds, and sponsored two language teachers to attend a professional development seminar.
Sandy Dowdy, co-founder of the Faithkeeper School along with late husband Lehman “Dar” Dowdy, kindly handed out appreciations to all supporters whom contributed in any form or fashion. Everything they use and have to teach is donated by the supportive community. They feel very fortunate to be recipients of donations and grant awards.
Not having to stress about funding allows staff and teachers to focus solely on teaching the Montessori Method and immersing students in language. Granddaughter and certified Montessori teacher, Autumn Crouse, provides a great education to students while practicing and instilling traditional Seneca methods. “We are fortunate teachers have gained knowledge to teach Montessori, they use the best methods and practice available. We are always working to improve. Come see us any time, everyone is welcome,” says Dowdy.
Donations of any kind are accepted and also help students in the adult immersion programs, which is located in the adjacent building next to the school. The program centered on adults is a strenuous three year curriculum intended to produce fluent Seneca speakers. Contributions can be used to educate all students.
“We need to have our children speak. They’re the ones that will keep it going. Immersion students have promised to continue to pass down the language to their children and be teachers. That’s how our language is going to continue,” Sandy Dowdy.