Funding for an outdoor classroom for the Paiute Indian Reservation

Published: April 12, 2021 |
Author: Laurent Mbaki |
Category: Community Outreach

Dr. Jacqualine Grant of Southern Utah University is working to build an outdoor classroom on the Paiute Indian Reservation in Cedar City, Utah with a bid for an outdoor classroom grant from the Bureau of the governor for economic development.

Dr. Grant is an associate professor of biology at SUU, director of the Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History, and 2018-2020 Provost Faculty Fellow for Parks and Partnerships. With the SPARC pre-award team, she recently submitted a grant application for a project called Paiute Outdoor Classroom and Veterans Memorial.

The purpose of this project is to construct an outdoor classroom consisting of a small plaza with a shade structure and stone benches engraved with the Paiute names for the numbers 1 through 10 in the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, as well as the English names of these numbers. In this innovative setting, students will learn about natural history and its relationship to Paiute traditions while reflecting on the sacrifices of tribal veterans. The space will facilitate STEM learning for tribal members and local schools.

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Outdoor Classroom Grant was a new offering from the Governor’s Office this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many children were restricted in how they could participate in school. The GOED Outdoor Classroom Grant was created to help develop more outdoor learning spaces that can be used during rain, shine or pandemic.

“Some of the challenges of working on this grant were not being able to meet my Paiute colleagues in person,” Dr. Grant said. “So we did all of our work through Zoom meetings, emails and phone calls.”

One of the key takeaways from Dr. Grant’s grant project is the connections made, including the opportunity to also meet Shane Parashonts, Tribal Administrator, and some people from FourPoints Health.

As SPARC awaits the decision on this proposal, we look forward to this continued connection with our Paiute friends – a connection that proves that a pandemic can sometimes produce an unexpected silver lining.

Produced by the SPARC office

SUU’s SPARC office provides assistance to faculty, staff, and administrators seeking external funding for their projects and programs, from concept development and planning to implementation and management of funded projects.

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Contact information:

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Nohemi M. Moore