Saturday, March 16, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
On our first day at Dora Reed Head Start I could tell just how grateful they were to have us there to help. The center is under a lot of pressure right now because they are on probation, so we were not able to help in the classrooms. There are plenty of other things for us to do though. Amanda Beasley, the director, explained that they are redoing lots of things, ordering new furniture, and doing their best to improve. They are doing so many things at once that they are barely able to keep up. So, we have been doing a lot of behind the scenes work in the kitchen and their Literacy Center. On the first day I helped stock the freezer and do inventory, something they would not have been able to get done without us. So far I have had a great time, and you can tell how much they genuinely appreciate our help.
We have also toured the immersion school, Kituwah Immersion Language Academy. At this school they speak only Cherokee. It was amazing to see all the children doing normal lessons (with a smartboard) speaking in a completely different language. They meet all of the expected standards, and preserve their cultures language. We toured the Cherokee Central School. It included pre-K to twelfth grade. It was built with tribal money, and they have almost every resource you could think of. It was a beautiful school, full of the latest technology, and there was a large emphasis on art and culture. The school is also a green school. There are monitors that check each classrooms oxegyn levels, and if they sense stagnant air fresh air is brought tin from outside. Another thing that I found mind-blowing was that they collect rainwater and use it to flush the toilets in the building.
There are many other wonderful things that Dr. Bryant has shown us on the reservation, including the grave stones of his great-grandparents. But my favorite cultural experience has been the cooks at Dora Reed making us fresh Cherokee food. They made us fry bread and chili, just for us.
Today was a wonderful day. The Dora Reed center is a great place for us to volunteer. For most of the week I have been helping in the kitchen to prepare and serve breakfast and lunch. Today, instead of helping in the kitchen I was lucky enough to help in the library. It was a nice change of pace, and I got to see a different aspect of the school. It is great being able to give back to this community in any way possible. I got to make some lesson plans for the librarian which was great practice for when I have a class of my own. Then we headed to the co-op where I got to see all the wonderful hand made crafts that the Cherokee have made to sell. Some of the basket weaving that has been done is breath taking! I ended up getting some earrings, and a dream catcher from the co-op to help support the Cherokee people