NIWC Sacred Little Ones featured on W.K. Kellogg Foundation's website

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has recently featured the Sacred Little Ones Early Childhood Education Initiative on its website:

Shelley Macy, Sacred Little Ones Principal Investigator, is interviewed in the video. Also, Nahrin Aziz-Parsons, Sacred Little Ones Project Co-Director, and Anna Somerville, a recent graduate of the ECE degree program and current lead teacher at the Early Learning Center, are both quoted in the article. We invite you to read the article and view the video, and welcome you to share the link with your colleagues, friends, and associates!


“Sacred Little Ones” infuses Native language and culture into early childhood education"

Five years ago, the American Indian College Fund sought to invest in the future by launching the Wakanyeja “Sacred Little Ones” – Tribal College Readiness and Success by Third Grade initiative. Wakanyeja, pronounced WAH-KUH-AY-JA, is Lakota for “sacred little ones,” and is a targeted initiative at four tribal colleges to improve early childhood education for Native American children. The initiative seeks to build school readiness for Native children and provide a platform for success by third grade.

Sacred Little Ones has become more than a comprehensive approach to infusing language and culture into early childhood education for Native American children: it has transformed the way early education teachers at Native colleges and universities are trained. It has also generated new culturally rich curricula, fostered community and educational partnerships on and off reservations and provided training and events to help parents and communities advocate on behalf of their little learners.

“Each of the tribal colleges and universities has partnerships with either Head Start centers or tribal schools,” said Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, senior program officer for the Wakanyeja Early Childhood Education Initiative of the American Indian College Fund. “What makes the training distinct is the incorporation of language and culture into the training, based on the needs of the particular communities they serve."