Ada — Children from the four Chickasaw Nation Head Start centers donned scholarly caps and gowns, modeled after traditional Chickasaw ribbon shirts, to celebrate their May graduation.
More than 150 Head Start students participated in four graduation ceremonies across Chickasaw country, including Ada, Ardmore, Sulphur and Tishomingo May 14-15. Each Head Start center opened the program with entertainment for family, friends, Chickasaw Nation leaders, teachers and center staff members.
While song and dance performances ranged from current hits like Katy Perry’s “Roar” and “What Does the Fox Say,” to updated versions of childhood classics like “Wheels on the Bus” and “Humpty Dumpty,” all delighted guests and dignitaries alike.
As the graduates walked to receive their diplomas, many teachers shared the children’s career aspirations with attendees. Popular responses to the age-old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” included superhero, princess, firefighter, police officer and doctor.
At the graduation ceremonies, Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby and Secretary of Community Services, Wayne Scribner, greeted and presented each child with his or her diploma.
Head Start director, Robert Pickens, thanked parents and guardians in attendance for supporting the children and emphasized the importance of continued encouragement as the graduates move forward on their educational journey.
“Thank you for all you do on the front lines; being their first teacher, getting them ready for school each morning and getting them to the bus on time,” Pickens said in Sulphur.
Pickens expressed his appreciation to the Chickasaw Nation, Governor Anoatubby and the leadership team for their dedication to early childhood education.
The Chickasaw Nation Head Start is a center-based federal and tribally funded program that promotes the school readiness of children age 3 to 5. The Head Start philosophy is based on the principle that early childhood education should address children’s needs in all areas of development: physical, social, emotional and cognitive.
The Chickasaw Nation Head Start program focuses on providing skill-appropriate services for all Head Start students. Enrollment preference is given to Native American and low-income families, as well as children with disabilities.
For more information, call the division of education at (580) 421-7711.