Children from Ada earn first diploma
Prekindergarten students graduated from Chickasaw Nation Early Childhood and Head Start programs in Ada, Ardmore, Sulphur and Tishomingo this May.
Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby presented each student with a diploma during their ceremonies, which were hosted across south-central Oklahoma.
Chickasaw Princess Mikayla Hook, Chickasaw Junior Princess LaKala Orphan and Little Miss Chickasaw Jadyce Burns offered the invocation at the events.
Chickasaw Nation Head Start Director Robert Pickens addressed each crowd and spoke of the role education plays in children’s lives.
“Education is the key that opens many opportunities and prospects in life,” Pickens said. “Our commitment is to enhance our nation’s children and families through education, to support and assist each child so they can develop to their maximum potential.
“Our children are the future leaders of tomorrow. We are proud of the positive impact the program has on the Chickasaw Nation.”
The early childhood program, along with three Head Start centers, provide school readiness instruction and parent support to children ages 3 through 5.
The Chickasaw Nation Head Start program is in now in its 40th year of operation. In 1978, the program began serving the Chickasaw Nation, graduating its first 33 students. Now open in four locations, Chickasaw Nation Head Start and Early Childhood programs serve more than 260 families.
The program is a comprehensive, family-focused resource, with developmentally appropriate preparation for educational success. Students have access to individualized education plans, health and wellness screenings, nutrition services and family engagement. Cultural instruction rounds out the knowledge base that children receive. Upon graduation, they are ready to succeed in kindergarten.
The Ada Chickasaw Nation Early Childhood Program reached a milestone in 2018, achieving international accreditation through the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.
The early childhood program is tribally funded and serves Chickasaw citizens. The Head Start centers are both federally and tribally funded, and serve students from any federally recognized Native American tribe.
The Sulphur and Tishomingo Head Start facilities have recently been renovated, making room for more students.
The early childhood and Head Start programs accept applications throughout the year. Preference is given to Chickasaw, Native American and low income families, and children with disabilities. For more information or to obtain an application, visit Chickasaw.net/EarlyChildhood.