CITC Schoolyard Program

Adrian Amorak, Reporter

The Schoolyard Program is located at the Cook Inlet tribal Council building on Debarr road. The program has many benefits for Native American and American Indian children.

In the program kids from high school and middle school can build things, use computers, and more. The staff  encourage the youth to finish their homework before having fun. When the kids arrive they can eat a nutritious meal provided by Children’s Lunchbox.

Judd Bunag, the academic coach, helps plenty with school. He’s responsible for getting the kids from West to CITC, then from CITC to home. Bus passes and gas cards are given to youth in need of transportation help. Each staff member plays a strict role for each and every teenager at the program.

Cail Hubert is the media and arts designer for CITC. “Kids are the future and that is why we are determined to help every youth achieve their dreams,” Hubert stated. There are many technology programs available on the computers such as Corel draw and 3d design programs.

Teenagers in the program can receive half an elective credit for every 120 hours spent at CITC. For those with failing grades their time at CITC will be spent doing whatever they can to bring their grades up. The academic coach Bunag will check the grades of all the participants to ensure that all their grades are good.

In the program the youth can learn how to use the 3d printers and laser cutters. Everyday there are kids who finish a project and bring it home. Not all the ideas for projects have been made by employees, but most of them are made by the kids. Almost anything you think of you can make in the fabrication lab in CITC.

In addition to making almost any idea a reality the staff also have fun trips on any day. This week the staff took most of the participants to Point Woronzof for a student practicing with a professional camera. There is nobody at the program that sits alone, everyone knows each other very well.

If there is any youth looking for employment, CITC has that covered too. In both buildings of CITC you can find youth working in many areas. There are three sessions of employment summer, fall, winter, and spring. When applying youth are asked what kind of field that they would like to work in.

For fun the staff will handout gift cards for lunch or any common store. Recently some of the producers of the tv show “Game of Thrones” came to CITC to help turn the game “Never Alone” into a TV show. The producers wanted the youth from the School Yard program to help come up with ideas for the show.

CITC is in a partnership with the Anchorage School District. In many of the middle and high schools in the district you can find a CITC employee teaching either a math class or history class full of American Indian or Alaska Native children. CITC is a great organization for many Alaska Natives and has many opportunities for everyone.