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College & Workforce Readiness

Tradition, Culture Boost College Thinking at Arizona School

By Catherine Gewertz — September 11, 2015 1 min read

How can working with local farmers and diving deep into one’s cultural traditions build college readiness? Kira Butler’s story offers insights into that question.

I talked with Kira for a long time about the journey she’s making next week from her home on the edge of the Navajo Nation in Arizona to a college in Washington state. Her experience at an unusual K-8 charter school helped shape her view of the future, and build the personal and academic strengths she needed to make a plan to attend college.

Read about Kira and the “place-based” approach that STAR School uses with its students in the story I wrote about it this week.

Photo credit: STAR School students help harvest tomatoes and peppers at the North Leupp Family Farm on the Navajo Nation in Leupp, Ariz.

—Nick Cote for Education Week


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A version of this news article first appeared in the High School & Beyond blog.