The Cherokee Nation recently donated $29,000 to Alice Robertson Junior High School in Muskogee to help construct an outdoor classroom focused on environmental sciences.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Councilor Don Garvin and Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. presented the check to Alice Robertson Junior High Principal Peggy Jones and Indian Education Liaison Jerrod Adair.
“Education is so vital to the future successes of our students in northeast Oklahoma and the future successes of the Cherokee Nation, and the tribe is committed to supporting our public schools to ensure our students have every opportunity to achieve those successes,” Hoskin said. “Education is in a financial crisis in this state, but we can’t afford not to support our schools. Through donations like this and revenue from tribal car tag sales, hopefully the tribe can help fill some of the gap in our schools’ budget cuts.”
Students will use the new outdoor space for botany, horticulture, agribusiness and other environmental science hands-on classes and activities.
“This donation gives our students at Alice Robertson Junior High an opportunity to extend their learning beyond what we could do in a regular classroom,” Jones said. “It gives our kids a hands-on opportunity to do a multitude of kinds of things in an interactive environment.”
Garvin said the donation will have a major impact on the learning and futures of students at Alice Robertson Junior High School.
“As a former educator, I know the impact that a project like this outdoor space learning area can have on students,” Garvin said. “I’m so proud that the Cherokee Nation can step up and help our schools provide some special learning amenities to students that will have a lasting impact on their academic and professional careers.”
The Cherokee Nation donation was made from the special projects budget. Projects funded through the special projects fund are selected by Tribal Council and Chief Baker’s office and allow the tribe to partner with communities and organizations on projects that benefit Cherokee Nation citizens and non-Cherokees alike.