Five Cherokee language students will receive four-year scholarships to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. The students will earn an elementary education degree in appropriate areas to obtain the state of Oklahoma's teaching certification. Students will spend 15 hours per week learning the Cherokee language. They will observe and assist at the immersion school and receive language instruction from fluent Cherokee language program employees.
Roy Boney Jr., Cherokee language programs manager, said,"We need to ensure our language will continue to be spoken and taught. We believe these scholarships will result in recruiting and hiring teachers for our immersion school, satellite programs in public schools and many other language initiatives. For Cherokees who want to teach their culture and language in the classroom on a daily basis, this is a wonderful opportunity for the tribe to help them along in their careers."
Students can opt out of the program after one semester. Those who choose to continue will sign a contract committing their services after graduation to working in the immersion school or one of the tribe's public school Cherokee language programs. Scholarship recipients will be selected by a committee from the tribe's Cherokee language program and immersion school. To qualify, applicants must be Cherokee Nation citizens with some conversational Cherokee language ability. Applicants should also have a desire to teach and speak the language.
The application is available at www.cherokee.org/services/education under the "College Resources" link. Select "Cherokee Teacher Scholarship" under the downloads section at the bottom of the page. Applications must be postmarked by Nov. 15. For more information on the program or a scholarship application, contact Roy Boney at 918-453-5487 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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