Round Valley Teacher Awarded $1,000 for STEM Education

The following is a press released forwarded by Joe Dukepoo

Joe Dukepoo, the Round Valley Math Teacher, will use the grant for implementing Cultural Activities in the classroom to enhance student learning in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Today, Oglala Lakota runner Billy Mills, co-founder of Running Strong for American Indian Youth® and Olympic gold medalist, announced that Joe Dukepoo from Round Valley Middle School in Covelo, California is one of 9 talented educators to be named Dreamstarter® Teachers. Each educator will receive $500 – $1,000 grants to support the educational needs of Native students. 

Joe Dukepoo will use the $1,000 Dreamstarter® Teacher Grant for implementing Cultural Activities in the classroom to enhance student learning in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.). 

Joe Dukepoo is a member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes and teaches Mathematics at Round Valley Middle School grades 6 – 8. He is a previous recipient of the initial Dreamstarter Teacher Grant which provided leadership development training to native youth in the spring of 2017. This current project is designed to use cultural activities in the classroom to supplement curriculum through inquiry-based S.T.E.M. projects. With the uncertainty of school closures due to COVID-19, these projects are designed to provide the students with materials to continue cultural projects at home that will enhance distance learning and promote the wellbeing of our students. 

Dreamstarter® Teacher provides $500 – $1,000 grants to teachers serving Native students. Native or non-Native teachers or support staff (including librarians and guidance counselors) who teach and/or support Native students are eligible to apply. Grants can be used for (almost) anything teachers need for their classrooms, like educational resource materials, supplies, equipment, professional development, field trips, or stipends for bringing community liaisons into the classroom. 

A full list of this class of Dreamstarter® Teachers and their projects can be found on the Running Strong website: 

On October 14, 1964, Billy Mills won the 10,000 meter race at the Tokyo Olympics in an upset, come-from-behind victory that has been repeatedly named the greatest race of all time. Ever since, his story has been an inspiration to Native youth and all Americans. Mills is still the only athlete from the Western hemisphere ever to win that event. He co-founded Running Strong for American Indian Youth® to help others live their dreams. 

Dreamstarter® Teacher is a companion to Running Strong’s Dreamstarter® program, which launched in 2014 and each year awards $10,000 grants to 10 Native youth to support their dreams for their communities. Youth apply in partnership with community nonprofits to implement the programs. 

Co-founded by Mills in 1986, Running Strong for American Indian Youth® brings local expertise together with the support of thousands of donors and supporters to create healthier, happier, and more hopeful futures for American Indian youth. Running Strong is helping to build up the next generation of Native American leaders. 

Additional information about Dreamstarter®, including application information, can be found at 

Categories: Community, Education, News

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