Bookmans is always looking for new and exciting opportunities to help our surrounding community. That’s why when we were approached to donate to KinLani Bordertown Dormitory we jumped at the chance. Not many know of KinLani but we’re here to tell you how awesome this organization is to the students that call these dorms their home away from home. Established in 1958, KinLani was created for the purpose of housing Native American students who wanted to attend public school in Flagstaff. Originally, the dormitory was home to students ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade but eventually KinLani began to exclusively house high-school students who would attend Flagstaff High School.

KinLani Bordertown Dormitory in Flagstaff
KinLani Bordertown Dormitory in Flagstaff

The official mission statement reads as follows “It is the mission of the Flagstaff Bordertown Dormitory to prepare and empower all students for the choices and challenges they will face in the future by providing a positive, healthy, social and educational environment which is based on Native American knowledge and language.”

The expectations for KinLani students are high. The students are expected to get up at 5:30am, clean their rooms and perform a chore like vacuuming or taking out the trash. They walk to school and are expected to be at Flagstaff High by 7:30am. In addition to the regular school day, the KinLani students have to attend a daily 1.5 hour study hall at Flagstaff High and then they attend a structured study hall at KinLani.

In 2008, KinLani had a facelift and a new $7 million dollar dormitory was built that could now provide housing for up to 160 students. With the community of students ranging from tribes such as Navajo, Hopi, Tohono Odham, Havasupais and other Arizona tribes, KinLani offers a place for students to stay and learn within Flagstaff City limits. The majority of the students are honor role students and all the students are encouraged to maintain a 2.8 grade average. The Navajo students, also known in their native language as the Diné, have to take an Oral Diné Language Assessment to test their knowledge of their native language.

When KinLani approached Bookmans Flag we were soon made aware that they are always in need of books for the dorms library. In addition to their regular education, it’s the goal of KinLani to further enrich their student’s lives with books that they can enjoy outside of their school education.

This past week KinLani CEO Theresa Boone-Schuler was able to collect over $700 in donated store credit from the Bookmans Flag donation box. The credit will enable students to purchase books for their library at the dormitory. Thanks to the Flagstaff community who donated a lot of credit, KinLani will continue its successful mission to better the lives of Native American Youth in Arizona.