National Indian Head Start Directors Association
Standing Strong for AIAN Children
View this email in your browser
Native Head Start
Leadership Quarterly

Winter 2017
Email Us
Email Us
Tribal Early Childhood Research Center
Campo Kumeyaay EELC
Colville Ice Fishing
Bay Mills ECE Degree
Nat. Child Nutrition Foundation Scholarship

Update:  The Tribal Early Childhood Research Center

In the fall of 2016, the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, Colorado School of Public Health received the competitive renewal of the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center (TRC) from the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, an office of the Administration for Children and Families.  We are grateful for this opportunity to both continue and expand the work of the TRC and deeply honored by the opportunity to continue and expand our partnerships with all of you.  

As in prior years, we will be offering the TRC Summer Institute at Johns Hopkins (July 10-14).  The TRC Summer Institute is an exciting opportunity for us to provide a 2-credit course on Early Childhood Research with Tribal Communities.  We will also be continuing to organize and host the Native Children’s Research Exchange (September 28 and 29).

In addition to preparing for the Summer Institute, we have been busy organizing our Communities of Learning, putting together our steering committee, and preparing to attend several upcoming conferences.  The following are the conferences we will be presenting at this spring:

•    Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium 
•    Federal Reserve conference
•    Society for Research in Child Development

If you have questions about the TRC or want to get involved, please email either Michelle Sarche at or Jessica Barnes-Najor at

Spotlight on a Collaborative Triad

Head east along Interstate 8, well beyond the jammed freeways and bustling suburban neighborhoods, and you'll find a vast panorama of steep, rocky mountains, hundred-year-old oak trees, and a special community. Nestled in that community is a new center just for children: the Campo Kumeyaay Early Education Learning Center.
The Campo Kumeyaay center is the result of five years of work and collaboration between the Mountain Empire Union School District, Campo Kumeyaay Indian Nation, and federal Head Start program. It's the first of its kind, not only in San Diego County but in all of California.
The trio celebrated the achievement with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 27. The center -- on Old Highway 80 in Boulevard -- serves children in the communities of Boulevard, Campo, Descanso, Jacumba, Pine Valley, and Potrero.
Efforts for the early education center began when an assessment of the area showed the need for a quality preschool program with comprehensive services that served children and families living on the Campo Kumeyaay Indian Reservation and in the surrounding communities. Parents, community members, and tribal members requested funding so that their children could stay in the Campo area and be a part of the school district. The Mountain Empire district was awarded a federal Head Start grant. The district then partnered with the San Diego County Office of Education to receive the First 5 San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative funding for staff development and training, coaching, materials and supplies, stipends to instructional staff, and preschool equipment.
At the opening ceremony, tribal Treasurer Marcus Cuero and tribal Vice Chairman Paul Cuero Jr. performed a first blessing, which was followed by a dedication from Mountain Empire Superintendent Kathy Granger. Granger recognized the work of the collaborative, as well as the support and dedication of Director Crystal Hart, teachers, parents, volunteers, and federal Head Start staff members. Also on hand were Mountain Empire board President Ken Northcote and trustee Chris Anderson. The program concluded with a performance by the center's 20 children.
First 5 San Diego has provided funding through the San Diego County Office of Education's Quality Preschool Initiative (QPI) and were also acknowledged for enhanced professional development and coaches for instructional staff, classroom materials and supplies, furniture and stipends for participation in QPI activities. The school district has provided services for health, mental health,  special education, kindergarten transition, and maintenance. Parents have the opportunity to participate in the Head Start Parent Council, and to receive comprehensive family services. "We have the most wonderful, dedicated teachers in our program," said Hart, adding that they have received a 100 percent score on their first Head Start Compliance Review.
Parents are excited about the program and about the many positive changes they see in their children. 

"My son loves going to school and seeing all his friends and his favorite teachers," parent Victoria Leon said. "It's a great school because they are very hands-on. My son has learned so much in the little time he has been there."

Ice Fishing at Owhi Lake

The photo are from field trips that both Omak Head Start and Keller Head Start centers (Colville Tribal Head Start Program) had a field trip scheduled for Dad’s Day, “Ice Fishing at Owhi Lake” January 27th, 2017.  Neither Head Start staff had spoken with the other center, but coincidently both centers had the same event scheduled on the same day.  Giant hot dog and s’mores day for the children and their family members.  

On Friday January 27th Keller Head Start headed off to spend the day Ice Fishing with our families at Owhi Lake. Along with Family Support Specialist -Kathie Finley,  ECE Teacher-Becca Johnson,  ECE Assistant Deon Pakootas and an Extra ECE Assistant Colee Adolph we were accompanied by several families on this adventure. We had a fantastic time even though we didn’t catch a single fish. The smiles, laughter and happiness was very heartwarming. The time spent with the children and their families created memories that are priceless that are sure to last a lifetime. Thank you to Daniel Monaghan and Stan Paul for getting our fire going to keep us warm and to provide a great dining experience for our cook out. Of course roasted hotdogs and s’mores were a must on the menu along with other tasty treats. These two along with Billy Drywater were the hero’s that created the holes in the ice to allow our children to experience so much fun. We cannot forget the mommy’s that were there to support us and enjoy these special moments either. Thank you to Tolanna Drywater, Shaylin Smith as well as Deon Pakootas! Grand Father Mike Palmer was there right along with us to support his grandson for this wonderful occasion as well. A huge shout out to our Keller Head Start Families and to our staff for putting this together and making it all happen.  Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your children’s education and fun. We appreciate each and every one of you.


Bay Mills Community College to offer Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education.

Brimley, Michigan, February 17, 2017– Bay Mills Community College is pleased to announce that the college’s ECE Faculty and ECE Advisory Committee are in the process of developing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education.  This new four-year program will be designed for ONLINE delivery of instruction and is intended to assist in the preparation of teachers and administrators of Native American Head Start/Early Head Start facilities nationwide.  Currently, BMCC offers an Associate of Arts and a Certificate of Completion in Early Childhood Education completely ONLINE, and has been providing students with ONLINE education opportunities for over fifteen years.  

Members of the Bay Mills Community College’s Early Childhood Education Advisory Committee include professionals from the Sault Tribe Head Start & Early Head Start Program, Bay Mills Indian Community Head Start & Early Head Start Program, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Chippewa-Luce-Mackinac Community Action Agency, Great Start Collaborative, Eastern Upper Peninsula Immediate School District, Lake Superior State University, and Bay Mills Community College.  

Bay Mills Community College is located on the southeastern shore of Lake Superior, within the Bay Mills Indian Community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  As a Tribally Controlled College and Land Grant Institution, the mission of BMCC is to provide quality educational opportunities, promote research and facilitate individual development in an accessible, community-based, and culturally diverse environment that supports and maintains the Anishinaabek culture and language.  Bay Mills Community College is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), for more information regarding accreditation visit

To learn more about Bay Mills Community College and the Early Childhood Education Program, please contact the Sheryl Hammock, Early Childhood Education Faculty, Bay Mills Community College at 1-800-844-BMCC (2622).
Watch for more information to come!

Kay Sunram of White Earth Tribal Council Awarded the National Child Nutrition Foundation Scholarship

In February, The National Child Nutrition Foundation awarded 14 scholarships to the National CACFP Sponsors Association Conference to be held in San Diego, CA April 18-20, 2017. All the applicants' passion and commitment to the children and adults they serve was evident and moving.

The Tribal Nation Scholarship was awarded to Kay Sunram of White Earth Tribal Council. She was one of the applicants chosen from over 1000 submissions. Showing a strong dedication to continual improvement through professional development, Ms. Sunram will join over 1,200 members of the child nutrition community for an incredible few days of training, networking, and learning opportunities.

The National Child Nutrition Foundation is the sister organization and charitable arm of the National CACFP Sponsors Association whose goal is to secure financial resources to develop nutrition education materials, offer grant programs, and provide professional development and scholarship opportunities for the child nutrition community, where healthy eating starts early.

Since 1986, the National CACFP Sponsors Association (NCA) is the leading national organization for sponsors who administer the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). We provide education and support to thousands of members in the CACFP community and to sponsors of all sizes from across the country. We strive to improve communication between families, care givers, sponsors, and their supervising government agencies.

NIHSDA Zone Alternate Vacancies

There are currently vacancies on the NIHSDA Board of Directors in the Alternate positions for zones 1, 3, 4, and 9. If you are interested in serving on the board, please contact Teri Stringer for more information.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
National Indian Head Start Directors Association · P.O. Box 6058 · Norman, OK 73070 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp