NAYA is committed to Generations Early Learning Academy despite temporary delays

NAYA is committed to Generations Early Learning Academy despite temporary delays

Dear Community partners, friends, and families we serve,

Despite the continued misinformation being circulated by a local “news” publication, NAYA stands committed to the development of the Generations Early Learning Academy in order to meet the growing need of early childhood educational opportunities for Portland’s most vulnerable children. As part of our long-term strategy to provide a continuum of educational resources, NAYA has already successfully implemented a head start program that serves more than 35 children in two schools and sees an overwhelming need to expand this program through Generations and help more families with young children access critical early learning resources that are proven to improve long-term educational outcomes. With that said, NAYA’s leadership and board of directors is committed to working in partnership with Portland Public Schools (PPS) to develop innovative and culturally appropriate solutions to address the historic inequitable educational outcomes that our Native children have endured for generations.

NAYA Family Center believes Native kids are our community’s most valuable resource and we are committed to our long-term priorities of providing early childhood education, transitioning kids out of foster care, and providing critical affordable housing for our elders. We are excited that phase I of Generations is ahead of schedule and will be providing 40 new affordable housing units at a critical time. The $22 million project is also currently under-budget due to the diligence of NAYA’s leadership team and Generations’ partners have made in preplanning and construction forecasting. To ensure the future success of the Generations Early Learning Academy, NAYA’s board and management team are taking prudent steps to fill key leadership positions to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the organization.

Moving the organization forward under new leadership. Currently NAYA is in the process of identifying a strong candidate for the Executive Director position which will directly impact future steps toward hiring a Development Director and Finance Director. Once NAYA’s new leadership team is assembled, we can reassess our capacity and resources to carry forward the second phase of Generations.

We are appreciative of the support and partnership from PPS and the City of Portland, as well as the many community members and staff that have dedicated time and energy to addressing the disproportionate need for our Native children and families to receive early learning opportunities. The decision to put a hold on the Generations Early Learning Academy project reflects our commitment to ensure we have the appropriate leadership in place to make critical and informed decisions with our partners.


Thank you,

Tawna Sanchez
Interim Executive Director
Eddie Sherman
Chair, Board of Directors