As she continues with her first visits to our affiliated sites in Navajo Nation since the pandemic, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, tells us about her trip to Kayenta Community School, where she met with our former volunteer coordinator, Lora, and a special student who took the time to show her and our U.S. Programs Specialist, Kris, around the school.

“Kendrick had done a wonderful job in putting a smile on my face,” said Renée.

Visiting Kayenta

“Kayenta Community School is located in the town of Kayenta, which is about 43 miles northeast of Shonto, Arizona, and serves approximately 258 children in grades kindergarten through 8th grade. Its student population declined during the pandemic due to family migrations, but its count is now rising faster than other schools in the region. It was one of the first schools to return to in-person instruction after the pandemic, and parents appreciated that,” said Renée.

“Kayenta Community School is renowned for its athletic department. The children like all of the sports offerings – and all of the winning seasons. When we visited our other affiliated site in the area, Shonto Preparatory School, our volunteer coordinators said that the school bus for Kayenta drives right up to the Shonto school grounds, and children who live in the Shonto community climb on and are taken to Kayenta to participate in their well-known sports program.”

Our former volunteer coordinator, Lora, (left) poses for a photo with Kendrick and Kris.

“As I entered the front door, I was stopped by a woman named Lora who told me that she was the Children Incorporated coordinator before our current coordinator, Mae. I remembered working with Lora, and I greeted her warmly, happy to see a familiar face,” said Renée.

“Lora explained that, unfortunately, Mae was out for the day — there had been an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Kayenta dormitory where Mae worked, and as Lora was speaking with us, the dorm was in the process of closing in an effort to halt the spread of the infection. Parents, guardians, and relatives in distant areas were being instructed to come to the dorm and take their students home. Lora was not sure how long things would be closed.”

Meeting Kendrick

“Additionally, the school was in disruption due to renovations that had begun during summer break, but were still not finished. The desks for those in the main office (the principal, secretary, etc.) had been temporarily moved to the library. Nonetheless, Lora invited me to come inside to have a tour of the building and grounds. For my arrival, Lora and Mae had previously chosen a student to be our tour guide, and I was very excited to meet him,” said Renée.

“Kendrick was one of the most well-spoken children I’ve ever met. He was not fazed in the least at meeting and escorting two strangers around the school, and he was unintentionally hilarious because he took his job so seriously. At each area, he would calmly pause and say, “Yes, as you see…”

“After the tour, we thanked Kendrick for being such an excellent guide, and we said goodbye to Lora — although I didn’t have the opportunity to meet with the other students at the school, Kendrick had done a wonderful job in putting a smile on my face,” said Renée.


How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.


written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

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