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Santee Sioux Nation Head Start


One of the program goals is to reduce obesity within our program by 5% by the end of the fifth year.  One of the activities is planned field trips once a month that includes some type of physical activity and invite parents to participate.

The Santee Community has a significant high number of obesities with all ages.  The poor success rate with adults to lose weight and keep it off is almost nonexistent and therefore, the focus is on our children to eat healthy and be physically active that is formed early in life and hopefully carried into adulthood.  Providing parents with training of parenting skills to understand healthy attitudes and interactions around eating and activity can also increase success.  Native Americans have a high rate of obesity and with evidence that excessive weight gain starts in children younger than 2 years old.

During the winter months, children are more less likely to participate in physical activities due to the cold weather.  The Head Start program takes the children swimming for an hour at the Summit Center in Yankton, South Dakota twice a year.  The Summit Center has a younger pool area with pool accessories and with plenty of parents and staff to engage with the children makes this field trip one of the most liked.

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Mille Lacs Self-Assessment 2020


The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe recently did the self-assessment with the management team. The program pulled data from Childplus, TSG, and other formats that they have collected throughout the year. The data was grouped by category. The team was asked to review the data in small groups and then identify Issues, Strengths, Referrals, and Action Items. Data was divided into 15 categories using the Head Start Management Wheel as a guide. A summary of each category was done at the end of the meeting, with someone volunteering to type the information from the large notes. The team also identified missing data and possible action items related to that. There was a group discussion on the areas to focus on at the all staff meeting. The data will be re-categorized into 4 larger data pools of Education, Health and Safety, Nutrition, and Family/Community Engagement. The management team will then follow this same process with all staff and invited Policy Council and Governing Body members next week. This was facilitated by Tammy Wickstrom, Interim Director of Early Education and Executive Director of Aanjibimaadizing. Information related to ongoing monitoring, data, self-assessment and planning was presented prior to the Data Review.

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Bluebee interactive Pals at White Earth Head Start


At the White Earth Head Start Programs, we have incorporated the use of Bluebee Pals in our classrooms.  Bluebee Pals are an interactive plush stuffed animal that allows you to connect through Bluetooth technology to have the animal have its mouth and head move while reading stores, singing, etc.  Here is a note from one of our teachers.

“My classroom loves to use the Bluebee pals! We use them with the Epic reading application and also to listen to music.  It is super easy to connect them to my phone via Bluetooth, and the app runs right through it! It has been a great addition to our classroom routine! Our kids love to choose a different friend to read to us each day.  Zebra, Monkey, Lion, Lamb, Puppy, and Bear, it’s always a treat to watch who they will pick!! They all gather closely and get ready to listen during circle time when they see a Bluebee Pal come out!!” - Mrs. Spieker, Pine Point Head Start Teacher

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ISWA EHS Groundbreaking


Catawba , SC.- Catawba Nation and Iswa Development Corporation Head Start Program will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of the new Early Head Start Center. The Center will be located at 1550 Tom Steven Road in Rock Hill, SC.

The proposed project was awarded in March 2018 by the Office of Head Start under Early Head Start Expansion grant in the amount of $1.2 million dollars, with approved allocation from Iswa Development Corporation of $500,000.00 from Community development funds for the total construction costs of $1.7 million. 


The new 5,000 square foot Iswa Head Start center will include four classrooms providing services to 32 Early Head Start children and their families with a comprehensive program designed to meet cultural , emotional, cultural, health , nutritional needs.


The ground breaking ceremony is scheduled for February 2020.

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