Jemez Early Childhood Program
Consists of the Head Start and Child Care Programs and is under the direction of the Education Department. The staff assures that all program requirements are met for both programs, coordinates with Tribal & Federal agencies, and develops new programs that would benefit the children between the ages of birth to kindergarten.
Walatowa Head Start Program
A comprehensive, child development program serving 68 Jemez children, ages 3-5, through a culturally relevant age appropriate curriculum, coordination of health services, services to the child’s families, and therapy for identified special needs children. Supplemental services in screenings for vision and hearing, nutrition education, and speech/physical therapy are obtained through cooperative agreements with the local education or tribal agencies.
Unique aspects of Early Childhood Program
- Language Immersion Program & Language Nest for Infants
- All ECP staff are Fluent Towa Speakers
- Over half of total ECP children served are Fluent Towa Speakers
- Curriculum supplemented with Traditional Calendar
- Towa Language & Culture Curriculum is being piloted as supplemental curriculum in both programs
- Maintained full enrollment with an active waitlist for both programs
- 15 Teaching staff; 2 Teachers with BA degrees; 1 Teacher with AA
- 8 staff enrolled in AA degree programs at institutions of higher learning
Collaborative Partnerships include: Senior Citizen Program; Jemez Community Library; Social Services; Injury Prevention, Community Wellness, Behavioral Health, Public Health, Dental, Tribal Police, early intervention programs, and local community schools.
Becoming Jemez: Early Childhood Development of Jemez Children
This Collaborative Head Start Research Project was completed in partnership between the Pueblo of Jemez & Arizona State University funded by the American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Research Center at the University of Colorado, Denver; to identify the learning progression of benchmarks for Jemez children, from birth to 5 years of age using the PhotoVoice method, as well as focus groups, individual interviews, home and community observations to understand the means by which children are socialized in a Towa speaking context.
Ultimately this information is being used to develop a researched and culturally-based, age appropriate curriculum for the Jemez Head Start program that supports the rich linguistic and cognitive resources of Jemez Children.
- What should Jemez Children learn in order to be “Jemez?”
- How do they learn these things?
- How does Head Start support or not Support this learning?