Sixth-Grader's Crusade Pays off St. Charles Student Sparks Native American History Month

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Byline: Alicia Fabbre Daily Herald Staff Writer

Month of celebrations

Illinois is celebrating its first-ever Native American History Month in October thanks to the efforts of St. Charles sixth-grader Samantha Holden. At Davis Elementary School, students Wednesday harvested sunflower seeds and beans to kick off the celebration. Davis library assistant Mary Gaffney, who helped Samantha's letter-writing campaign, also plans to erect a tepee in the school and will discuss Native American culture with local Girl Scout groups this month.

Other activities planned to celebrate the month:

- Batavia Middle School, 1501 S. Raddant Road, will host a pow wow at noon Saturday.

- The Lakota Sioux Indians will perform at the Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles. The dance performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for senior citizens. For information call 584-7200, ext

As Illinois kicks off its first-ever Native American History Month, a St. Charles sixth-grader and library assistant continue their push to take the celebration nationwide.

Much like she did last spring, sixth-grader Samantha Holden plans to continue her letter-writing campaign in hopes of eventually celebrating October as Native American History Month across the country.

"She intends to do more letter writing to find out what other states celebrate Native American History Month ... and how they celebrate," said Mary Gaffney, a library assistant at Davis Elementary School, who helped Samantha in her letter-writing campaign last year. …