News

Blackhawk Singers made a special visit to the Northwest Indian College’s Early Learning Center

Lawrence Solomon of the Blackhawk Singers made a special visit to the Northwest Indian College’s Early Learning Center to share his gifts with the children and staff. Mr. Solomon’s visit came during our celebration of traditional songs week to enhance our classroom learning and hands on experience. Children had the opportunity to listen and participate in the traditional song and dance.

Focus on Children Conference

On February 3rd, Bellingham Technical College hosted the 33rd annual Focus on Children conference. The conference, which draws early childhood educators from a five-county region and over five Tribal Nations, is designed to: (1) provide professional development and networking opportunities to those working with young children and families; (2) promote inclusive attitudes and practices and support awareness of and action related to diversity issues; and (3) support partnerships and collaboration among educators, families, providers, school, agencies and our communities. All Northwest Indian College (NWIC) Early Learning Center (ELC) staff, including teachers and administrators, were in attendance at this year’s conference.

Lesson Planning Workshop

By Johanna Phair

As we kick off a new academic year with Dr. Anna Lees, Alicia Allard and Nahrin Aziz-Parsons, Northwest Indian College’s Early Learning Center teaching staff created learning activities with items from our natural environment and art supplies. Teaching teams worked together and designed lesson plans that aligned with our newly developed Traditional Foods, Plants, and Medicines curriculum.

Hosting Early Childhood Educators from Southwest University in Chongqing, China

On Wednesday, August 2nd Northwest Indian College’s Early Childhood Education degree program and Restorative Teachings Initiative hosted 20 visitors from Southwest University in Chongqing, China. The group included ECE faculty and teacher candidates from Southwest University, and practicing teachers from their partnering ECE programs. Their day with Northwest Indian College focused on the land, water, and place based teaching with young children and families.

Participating in Professional Development: How Early Learning Center staff members engage in collective inquiry to design meaningful lesson plans for Tribal nations’ youngest citizens

While many Northwest Indian College (NWIC) faculty members and students were off for spring break, early childhood educators from our Early Learning Center (ELC) dedicated one full day to engage in collective inquiry. Administrators and lead teachers came together for a Professional Learning Community (PLC) co-facilitated by Dr. Anna Lees, Curriculum Coach, Alicia Allard, ELC Director, and Nahrin Aziz-Parsons, Early Childhood Education faculty.

2017 FOCUS on Children Conference: Nurturing Connections through Our Senses

Staff members at the NWIC Early Learning Center recently attended the 33rd annual FOCUS on Children Conference at Bellingham Technical College, sponsored by The Northwest Washington Association for the Education of Young Children (NW AEYC), Bellingham Technical College, The Opportunity Council and Whatcom Educational Credit Union. The theme of this year’s conference was Nurturing Connections Through Our Senses, and a the day-long conference provided numerous workshop sessions related to this concept as well as practical tools for classroom management and leadership.

NWIC Restorative Teachings Holiday Cedar Weaving and Storytelling Event

On a blustery and bitterly cold December night, the NWIC Early Learning Center cranked up the heat and welcomed families and community members to celebrate traditional plants and foods in Coast Salish culture. In spite of the winters chill, the event was an amazing success, with nine enrolled Early Learning Center (ELC) families, and eight families from the Lummi community.

Sandbox Rebuilding Project

During the summer of 2016 the Northwest Indian College Early Learning Center (ELC) Director made the difficult decision to remove the large natural log-lined sandbox from the main play area. This structure was built by volunteers in 2009 and reflected the tidal shores that surround the Lummi Reservation. The sandbox was filled with natural sand similar to what you might find on the local beaches, and surrounded by large smooth sections of split logs that brought to mind the weatherworn driftwood the children on the Salish Sea grow up climbing on.

13 Moons Garden

On August 4th, members of the Restorative Teachings Early Childhood Education Initiative Coordinating Team visited Northwest Indian College’s Swinomish Extended Campus Site, in order to research and learn more about their widely acclaimed and highly renowned Native plants garden.

Restorative Teachings Family Engagement Event: Whole Child Health and Wellness and Securing Families

On May 20, 2016, Northwest Indian College’s (NWIC) Restorative Teachings Initiative Coordinating Team held a family engagement event for the families of children enrolled at NWIC’s Early Learning Center (ELC). The purpose of this event was to introduce families to our Restorative Teachings Early Childhood Education Initiative-, share about the positive changes that will affect the ELC and NWIC, and to get a deeper understanding of the families’ conception of child health, nutrition, and wellness. We also wanted to remind families how invaluable their input and thoughts are in regards to this grant/project.

Convening of Grantees 2016

When I was asked to participate in the Restorative Teaching Early Childhood Education Initiative Coordinating Team for Northwest Indian College (NWIC), I jumped at the opportunity. I knew this would be an incredible opportunity for me both personally and professionally. I would get to be a part of a project that would do great things for the very community I come from, while at the same time, furthering my experience in the academic world.

Whole Child Health and Wellness: Focusing on Child Nutrition and Economic Security with Parents and Families

On May 20, 2016, Northwest Indian College’s Restorative Teachings Early Childhood Education Initiative, in partnership with the NWIC Early Learning Center, hosted a family engagement event, including a luncheon and introduction to the Restorative Teachings grant project. Most importantly, the purpose of the event was to invite parents and family members of young children at NWIC’s ELC, our formal early learning partner in the Restorative Teachings project, to engage in the Initiative’s visioning, planning, and development process with us.

Restorative Teachings ECE Initiative May 2016 Blog

Spring is in full bloom here at the Northwest Indian College Early Leaning Center, and the AICF Restorative Teachings Early Childhood Education Initiative is beginning to take shape. We are fortunate to live in a part of the country where the seasonal changes are so dramatic and each transition brings such a feeling of change to our surroundings.

Restorative Teachings

Northwest Indian College has been invited to participate in a new American Indian College Fund Tribal College & University Early Childhood Education Initiative entitled, Restorative Teachings. Restorative Teachings focuses on strengthening systems of care and learning for Native children and families served by TCUs. This is a two year initiative building upon the success of the Wakanyeja (Sacred Little Ones) and K’é (Family Engagement) initiatives.

Focus on Children

n February 6, 2016, Bellingham Technical College hosted its annual “Focus on Children” Early Childhood Education conference. This professional development event draws early childhood educators from a five-county area to think collectively and reflect collaboratively about critical issues in early childhood education.

Several students in and graduates of Northwest Indian College’s Associate of Applied Science – Transfer in Early Childhood Education degree program attended this year’s conference. We had solid representation of NWIC ECE students from Lummi, Swinomish, and Suquamish in attendance.

Furthermore, NWIC ECE program graduate, Anna Somerville, and current students, Rachel Goodman and Christine Edwards, presented at the Focus on Children conference! They facilitated a breakout session entitled, “Handling Children’s Emotional Moments.” Both Anna and Christine are fluent Spanish-speakers, and Rachel is conversational in Spanish; therefore, their workshop was designed especially for Spanish-speaking early childhood educators.

Reflecting on the National Family and Community Engagement Conference

Two years ago I was a struggling single mother working twelve hour shifts at a child care as preschool teacher making $9.04 an hour. The quality of the center concerned me and so did my future there. I knew that I would never move up professionally. I wasn’t offered the necessary support or training. I didn’t make enough money to support my children nor did I have any time with them since I had to work almost sixty hours a week just to make ends meet.

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