Feel Good Friday – Paschal Sherman Indian School Students Take a Tour of Seattle

The Paschal Sherman Indian School, located just outside of Omak on the Colville Indian Reservation, serves 150 students from Kindergarten to 9th grade.

While the school is rich in Native American culture, there are little opportunities for students to travel outside the area and experience metropolitan art and urban culture. Many of the students live in dorms on the school’s campus.

Last fall, the Methow Arts Alliance received a Regional Impact Grant to support “Access to Arts”, an arts education program developed specifically for schools in Okanogan County who have limited to no funding for art curriculum.

“Access to Arts” hosts a range of art education programming, including art-focused field trips to Seattle like this one.

Paschal students in 8th and 9th grade experienced a live theater performance, learned about Seattle’s history through the Underground Tour, took an unexpected boat ride, and saw some of the unique outdoor art in the surrounding area. 

Ashley Lodato, Art Education Director, joined the students as a chaperon. “It’s really neat to see them soaking in sights they’ve only heard of” she shared. Most of the students haven’t traveled out of their home town, much less seen a live performance of “big city” caliber.

“Community Foundation grants have a huge impact on these schools”, said Lodato, “especially when we can leverage the funding with other interested donors.”

Several funding sources helped to finance the trip. A private donor has invested in funding it over the next few years for other Paschal students to explore a world they may otherwise never get to see.

Read Ashley Lodato’s full story on the Seattle trip here.

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