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Yakama Nation Head Start Early Childhood Education Program

by Rose Butterfly
November/December 2012
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/yakama-nation-head-start--early-childhood-education-program/5020872/

Not many Program Directors can say their office once served as the classroom they came to every day as a three-year-old child, but my journey in life has taken me from being a student of the Yakama Nation Head Start Early Childhood Education Program to dedicating myself to continuing its success for ­future generations. As a Program Director, every day requires decisions regarding children, parents, extended families, what curriculum to use, and of course, managing the finances. Making the day-to-day decisions and ensuring the overall health, safety, and well-being of each child served by the Yakama ­Nation Head Start is made easier by continually reflecting on the impact Head Start has had on me, my family, and the reservation community.

My name is Rose Butterfly. I am Yakama, Blackfeet, Colville, and Warm Springs. As a child, I grew up on the Yakama Nation Reservation where I spent a lot of my summers with my grand­mothers and great-grandmother in the hills digging roots or in the mountains picking huckleberries. I lived in Wapato, Washington, in Apas Goudy (housing project) with my mom and grandmother until the age of five before my mom and I moved to Yakima, eventually living with my kala (Kuthla-mom’s ...

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