Little Ones

Little Ones is a program at the American Indian Center of Chicago funded by an NSF research grant and designed by the AIC community. Two years ago the AIC was awarded two research grants, one of them is named Living in Relationships (LIR) the goal of this grant is to create a much needed early childhood science program. For a year we conducted a series of meetings getting to know what our community designers wanted to see in an early childhood program. The community came to a consensus that our values are what sets us apart and we created a list of what we should focus on:

  • Include and involve families and elders 
  • All inclusive of tribes
  • Sustaining interest and promoting creativity            
  • Make kids proud of who they are
  • Traditions/Teaching traditional ways            
  • Seasons & Cycles        
  • Learning values and respect              
  • Prayer            
  • 7 Grandfather teaching
  • Honoring and respecting veterans
  • Native books and stories                    
  • Include dance and songs        
  • Include traditional Indian games                   
  • Harvesting, planting and eating traditionally           
  • Learning not to be wasteful               
  • Learning from experience, observing, asking questions

We started implementation in the summer of 2012 over this past year we created new lesson plans, reworked old ones and have invited designers and community to help teach our sacred little ones with some of the same stories as our ancestors, and with our own stories and experiences. Our little ones are our teachers.Image

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