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Reducing the Achievement Gap: Native American Programs that Produce Results Laurie Hand, Cherokee Nation Sherry Rackliff, Delaware Tribe of Indians Dallas.

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Presentation on theme: "Reducing the Achievement Gap: Native American Programs that Produce Results Laurie Hand, Cherokee Nation Sherry Rackliff, Delaware Tribe of Indians Dallas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reducing the Achievement Gap: Native American Programs that Produce Results Laurie Hand, Cherokee Nation Sherry Rackliff, Delaware Tribe of Indians Dallas Pettigrew, Cherokee Nation, Kim Nall, Colusa Indian Community

2 Overview Tribal overview and funding Native American Student Achievement Perspectives from three tribes –Organizing the early childhood community –Tribal culture and early childhood practices –Incorporating current trends in tribal child care centers

3 Tribal Child Care 566 Federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes 260 tribal Child Care and Development Fund Grantees representing 539 tribes

4 American Indian Student Achievement Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan. Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming “Native students have the highest dropout rate in the nation. Without education they are disempowered and disenfranchised” (Indian Nations At Risk, 1991) School Completion Of every 100 White Kindergartners: Of every 100 American Indian Kindergartners: 94 Graduate from high school 71 Graduate from high school 66 Complete at least some college 30 Complete at least some college 34 Obtain at least a bachelor’s degree 7 Obtain at least a bachelor’s degree Source: The Education Trust, 2001.

5 American Indian Student Achievement Early Childhood Longitudinal Studies –As late as 22 months cognitive gaps do not exist between Native American Children and others –By kindergarten significant gaps are evident

6 Working within our communities Purpose is to educate – to make them understand and care about the quality of early childhood programs To change a way of thinking about the education of young children Not just about funding for early childhood - want them to understand and care

7 Working within our communities Build relationships Do not always go to them asking for small donations - with hand out Funding may follow but it is after the relationship is established and they understand importance of EC Be sincere

8 Working within our communities Relationships Take the time Don’t give up Send ’s Invite them to speak Attend community events Keep telling your stories Listen to their stories – and be sincere

9 Make volunteer time meaningful. Relationships Sincerity

10 Involve community members in what you do and what you promote.

11 Involvement Relationships Share about their occupations Invite them when appropriate Not too often Remember – it needs to be meaningful – for the children and for the community leader

12 Listen, participate, sincerity Listen to what they have to say – really listen and comment about something they said about what was important to them the next time you meet Participate in community boards, activities, events Be sincere!

13 Involve the media – and parents! Nearly 15 community members — including Representative Earl Sears, Representative Steve Martin and Senator John Ford — started Tuesday morning off with doughnuts and coffee before boarding a bus and heading to several local child development centers. The goal of the Child Watch Tour was to raise awareness of the problems affecting local children and families, with a limited number of quality childcare programs in this area. The group met at the Delaware Child Development Training Center for lunch and to discuss the findings and issues that were raised during the visits. Arlette Denton, a parent of a two-year-old child addressed the group regarding her search for quality care for her daughter, Juliana. She was very aware of the type of care that children require and wanted Juliana to be in a program that would develop her cognitive skills as well as her social and emotional well-being. She was on a waiting list for several months before she could find the type of care she knew would benefit her daughter. The group discussed possible solutions to the shortage of quality childcare slots in Washington County, including mentoring child are providers, looking at options to recruit other childcare organizations to open centers in Bartlesville and working with the community to provide childcare during non-traditional hours. The Child Watch Tour was an initiative of Sx6/Smart Start Bartlesville operated by Delaware Child Development. Sherry Rackliff, Executive Director of the DCD said, “The child watch tour was a great success because it raised awareness for the need for quality care for young children in our society and the community’s responsibility to see that children receive a strong foundation during their formative years of growth.”

14 Child Watch Tours

15 The Extra Touch! State Representative Earl Sears help – State Senator John Ford Business leader’s children Or grandchildren Ask for advice from business leaders that have an interest in EC and a strong leadership or management background – they can see it from a different angle Senator Coburn’s staffer Be sincere

16 Funding opportunities may follow… 8 years - funding cuts businesses donating funds because they know it is important Tribe donates buildings - use HUD ICDBG to build centers and office buildings to support EC Rotary Club – attends every week at lunch meeting - brought in EC speakers several times to present information - one of their focuses is on EC and donates to our program annually - not large amount but it is because they know it is important Remember the PURPOSE is to educate And that is about building relationships

17 Commitment We not only want to educate the communities about how important the early years in a child’s life is to his development and future We know the importance of the work we do with young children We want the community to understand and care

18 Change in societal view We want their heart and soul invested in early childhood Only then will we be able to make a difference Make that commitment of time to invest in the community Mind shift – a shift of societal view of early childhood education

19 A Discussion on the Overlap Between Current Evidence-Based Best-Practices in Child Care and Development and Traditional Child Rearing Practices of the Cherokee and Other Hunter/Gatherer Societies

20 The Problem Maladapted children –Don’t get along with others –Struggle to function with peers and groups ADD/ADHD, etc. Obesity Violence School failure The economy…

21 Current Evidence-Based Best Practices for Optimal Development Optimal Development is easy as math… The Child +Things that Help –Things that Hurt Optimal Development!

22 Things that Hurt (Impair Optimal Development) Child Abuse (Physical, Emotional, Sexual) Child Neglect (Physical, Emotional, Educational) Mother Treated Violently Household Substance Abuse Household Mental Illness Parental Separation or Divorce Incarcerated Household Member Courtesy 2007 Kids Count ACEs Study

23 The Brain

24 The Brain

25 Things that Hurt Brain DVD’s Baby Carriers Pacifiers (not binky’s) Solitude Lack of interaction Lack of touch

26 Things that Help Natural childbirth Breastfeeding Interaction with many caregivers Parent skill-building by peers and family Unstructured play Nature Multiple age-groups More

27 Natural Childbirth Oxytocin (the Love Hormone) is released during labor and delivery and facilitate the mother-baby bonding process. These hormones provide moms with the energy and instinct to nurture their children. Oxytocin promotes contractions, dilation of the cervix, positioning of the baby, expulsion of the placenta, limits blood loss and promotes lactation.

28 Natural Childbirth Another hormone released: Endorphins –Endorphins relieve pain and calm; “natural opiate” –Epidurals decrease the level of endorphins released by the brain –Endorphins can balance adrenaline which can work to stall pregnancy

29 Breastfeeding Promotes oxytocin release in mother and child (calms both, increases bonding) “Liquid Gold” (colostrum) is the first breast milk made after birth Breast milk changes as the baby ages Easier to digest Fights disease

30 Many Caregivers Children who are held and attended to have better outcomes developmentally. Busy parents may not be able to attend to a child constantly. Additional caregivers support child care and safety of children. Protective Factor: An extra adult caregiver for children.

31 Parenting Skill Building Best practices in parenting says that, “Children with authoritative parents (high-warmth, high- control) do significantly better on a range of psychosocial outcomes than do (other) children…” and “The most successful parents combine clear, consistently enforced rules with warmth and responsiveness.” Rhodes, J.E. & Spencer, R., (2010, Summer). Structuring mentoring relationships for competence, character, and purpose. New Directions for Youth Development. doi: /yd.356

32 Unstructured Play Children need to use their imaginations to help them develop creativity, innovation and ingenuity. Unstructured play also promotes independence, patience and confidence. Imaginative play is healthy and easy! Put a child in front of a refrigerator box and you’ll see him play for days. Unstructured time decreases stress and anxiety and promotes cognitive development.

33 Unstructured Play Citations Steinman, E. (2012, February 4). Unstructured play makes kids smarter. Care 2 Make A Difference. Retrieved from: Scholastic (n.d.) The joys of doing nothing. Retrieved from: of-doing-nothinghttp://www.scholastic.com/resources/article/the-joys- of-doing-nothing Entin, E. (2011, October 12). All work and no play: Why your kids are more anxious, depressed. The Atlantic. Retrieved from: anxious-depressed/246422/http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/10/all-work-and-no-play-why-your-kids-are-more- anxious-depressed/246422/ Starling, P.E., (2011, May 16). An investigation of unstructured play in nature and its effect on children’s self- efficacy. Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) Dissertations. Paper 15. Retrieved from: American Academy of Pediatrics (n.d.). New AAP report stresses play for healthy development. AAP Newsroom. Retrieved from: Mulligan, D.A., (2011, December 26). The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bond: Focus on children in poverty. Pediatrics doi: /peds Retrieved from:

34 Nature articles/benefits.shtmlhttp://www.whitehutchinson.com/children/ articles/benefits.shtml Tribal people have always used nature as a setting for play for children.

35 Mixed Age Groups Children who group up in their natural extended families have time with children of various ages all around them. Siblings and cousins are of many ages and there are significant benefits. Children learn sharing, cooperation, respect, leadership, and how to fight!

36 We could go on… We could talk about: –Community gardens –Shared resources –Sense of belonging –Shared concern for society –Empathy and care for others –Social isolation as a means of promoting expectations –And more…

37 An interesting author Darcia Narvaez Google her and “hunter/gatherer”

38 Healthy From the Start! Strategies that work Family involvement Community involvement

39 The fight against childhood obesity Dramatic increases in the number of children preschool aged, who are overweight or obese (prevalence of obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years (CSREES, 2005). Habits around eating and exercise behaviors are formed in the early childhood years, which makes these years the best time for prevention of obesity Garden projects are a great way to help form healthy approaches to eating Website for early childhood that helps cultivate healthy food choices. Obesity Epidemic

40 Gardening with Kids Children who garden are in touch with nature and food in a way that makes sense!  Growing fruits and vegetables can be a family, Community or school effort  Gardening can help stretch food dollars  Children can be a source of education for their family. Children can influence their parents to eat healthy too  Through garden efforts children and families form a bond, learn life lessons, give back to community, exert energy and use imagination Junior Master Gardeners Keep it simple – start small It’s okay to be messy! Gardens don’t have to be perfect Grow “quick gratification” plants like radishes and sunflowers If space is limited try container gardening Get a map of your states garden planting guides for seeds And transplants Don’t be afraid to experiment Be creative, have fun! Resources: Life Lab Science Program Santa Cruz, CA

41 Children who are outdoors are more physically active than those who are primarily indoors Get active – aim for a total of 60 minutes (min) for children and 30 minutes (min) for adults per day Explorations and connections with nature provide a variety of health benefits: o Intellectually o Emotionally o Socially o Spiritually o Physically “Unstructured free play brings cognitive, social and health benefits to children”. Cognitive benefits include creativity, problem solving, focus and self-discipline. Social benefits include cooperation, flexibility, and self-awareness. Emotional benefits are stress reduction, reduced aggression, and in increased happiness Children & Nature Network Allow Children to Explore Nature!

42 Let’s Move in Indian Country (LMIC) & Let’s Move! Child Care LMIC - Goals Create a healthy start on life for children Creating healthier schools Ensure access to healthy, affordable, and where possible, traditional foods Increase opportunities to be physically active Develop a food policy council/committee *Handouts w/more information will be provided Let’s Move Child Care - Goals o Provide 1 – 2 hours of physical activity throughout the day, including outdoor time o Screen time – no more than 30 minutes per week during child care, and no more than 1-2 hours of quality screen time per day. No screen time for children under 2. o Serve fruits or vegetables at every meal, eat meals family style, no fried foods o Provide access to water during meals and throughout the day, do not serve sugary drinks. For children over 2, serve low-fat (1%) or non-fat milk. Limit juice(100%) to one 4 -6 oz /day o Infant Feeding – help support mothers who breastfeed at child care.

43 What does it look like? Playing outdoors!

44 Eating Healthy Foods:

45 Be a role model Children follow your lead – have a policy for nutrition and health in your program Get up and move with the children Eat nutritious family style meals with children Try new foods – be open-minded yourself! Be prepared to follow children’s lead – let them lead an activity Implement a community training around Let’s Move!

46 Physical Activity Improves self-esteem Increases fitness levels Helps to build and maintain bones, muscles and joints Helps with flexibility Lowers your risk for heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes Relieves stress Helps with school performance Leads to building a foundation for lifetime physical activity You can break up the time into 10 – 15 minute increments Strive for 60 minutes of activity at least per day There is no wrong way to play! Provide a safe environment

47 Family & Community Involvement Family Involvement: When you host a family event, engage the group in a physical activity to join in together Have a garden planning/work day – invite families to join you Provide samples from your menus for the families to try during family events Invite your families to join you in a meal; cook the meal together Provide newsletters, resources and materials for families about the importance of physical activity and nutrition Community Involvement: Ask your community to help organize a community or school garden Invite community members to your programs to see what you are doing around nutrition and physical activities Implement a Farm to School program to-Preschool-101.ppt - Stacey Sobell to-Preschool-101.ppt From our Farms ourfarms.html www/ourcommunityyourkids.orghttp://gloucester.rcre.rutgers.edu/fchs/from ourfarms.html www/ourcommunityyourkids.org – San Diego County, CA Newly formed Sub-Committee Farm to Preschool – National

48 Resources Children & Nature Network – Early Sprouts – From Our Farms – ms.html Growing a Green Generation – Harvest of the Month – Pre-K.htm Show Me Nutrition – yPub.aspx?P=SMN100 Healthy Beginnings – ervices/Preschool_Daycare_Resources.htm Eat Well Play Hard: In a Child Care Setting – /cacfp/ewphccs_curriculum/index/.htm Let’s Move! Child Care – Kids Gardening – Dinner from Dirt, by Emily Scott and Catherine Duffy. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1998 “ Ten meals kids can cook and grow”; for example, a salsa garden which includes growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and all the other ingredients to make salsa, with a recipe at the end; simple explanations; photographs. A Child’s Seasonal Treasury, by Betty Jones. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press, A compilation of songs, verses, activities, and recipes for children to read about and do in each season. Network for a Healthy California –

49 More Resources… Let’s Move Child Care – Prevent Obesity – Farm Cookbook for Kids – ookcomplete.pdf San Diego, CA - Farm to School Program (free curricula) Stacey Sobell, MPH, Western National Lead for the National Farm to School Network Preschool-101.ppt Small garden example

50 Questions? Contact Information –Dallas Pettigrew - –Kim Nall - –Sherry Rackliff- –Laurie Hand- National Indian Child Care Association -


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