The Umbrella Project and Canyon View High School to Host Cultural Exchange Event for Havasupai School Students

By Nonprofit Marketing ArizonaApril 9, 2019

The Umbrella Project, Inc. and Canyon View High School are teaming up to host a four-day Cultural Exchange Program for Havasupai School students April 24 through 27 at the Canyon View campus, 6024 North Perryville Road, Waddell, Ariz. Lolita Paddock, Havasupai Principal, teachers and approximately 27 students will stay on campus at this new, innovative school that boasts an open environment and delivers project-based learning.

To help address known gaps in education at the Havasupai School, the program will include workshops in art, music, agriculture and a STEM-based project. Students will enjoy a safe and fun environment, surrounded by students from the greater Phoenix area. Students will also field trip to the Wildlife Zoo. The exposure to new experiences and new friends is intended to inspire learning, understanding, and growth.

"Canyon View students are exposed to the culture of the Havasupai Tribe will act as role models and leaders during the event,” said Canyon View High School teacher, Erin Seidner. “Tribal students don’t experience life outside of the canyon walls regularly, which is why CVHS students take pride in setting examples and creating cultural bonds while facilitating experiences with Havasupai students. It can be—and has been—a life changing experience for all involved.”

Serving K through 8th graders, the Havasupai School is located in Supai, Arizona, a village situated at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Supai is considered the most remote village in the United States. With its children only learning math and reading, the school is considered by some to be the worst tribal school in the nation1. Only 20 percent of their students graduate from high school. The few students who do attend high school are generally sent to Oklahoma where they stay in foster homes.

The Umbrella Project has been working with the Havasupai School and tribal council since 2016 to design a Cultural Arts Program that provides students with alternative creative learning experiences that enhance their understanding and appreciation of their rich native culture. The program also gives Havasupai students an opportunity to meet and learn from students from different cultural backgrounds. The Umbrella Project has been very successful in empowering students to utilize their creativity to help others in need.

During 2018, The Umbrella Project added Canyon View to their list of high schools from around Arizona that participate in their programs. Last November, Umbrella Project staff took 12 Canyon View students to the bottom of the Grand Canyon to work on art projects with Havasupai School students. Phillip Nowlin, Canyon View Principal was so impressed with the positive experiences gained by his students that he suggested a yearly collaboration with The Umbrella Project to bring Havasupai students to Canyon View to expose them to a diverse variety of art, agricultural, and science workshops. 

About The Umbrella Project

The Umbrella Project, Inc. a global 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization works with high school artists from around the United States, leveraging their talents to create one-of-a-kind umbrellas. Funds raised from umbrella donations help children, families and communities in need. For more information about the Cultural Exchange Program, contact Gretchen Maynard, Umbrella Project Chair at 480-227-1573 or go to our website at 


Media Contact: Gretchen Maynard, Umbrella Project Chair 480-227-1574