November 01, 2007

Gaming buys $10 million school

Seminole school mixes technology, tradition

As the Seminole Tribe parlays its gambling wealth into investment in the next generation, a new elementary school blends technological savvy with traditional ways."Educating our people is very important to us, but equally important is keeping our language and culture," said Louise Gopher, educational director of the tribe and driving force behind the school. 'They're not getting it at home, and they certainly weren't getting it at school. We're teaching the parents, too. When the kids bring home worksheets, a lot of the grandmas are getting calls at night, `How do you spell that? How do I say this?' So everyone's learning."

Gopher, who in 1970 became the first Seminole woman to graduate from college with a four-year degree, says keeping the Creek language alive is essential to tribal survival. "Without the language, we have no tribe," she said.

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