2013 is just around the corner so it’s time to get some information out about the January project. Although this blog is about learning materials for Head Start we want to encourage everyone to keep sending things still needed by our other programs. Nurse Debbie at PR and Michelle at Rosebud still need diaper bags and all the goodies that go in them for newborns and breastfeeding supplies for new mothers. There are about 10 births a month on each reservation. The Baby Face program still needs seasonal clothing for kids 6 to 24 months, kids change sizes often at these ages. The Closet gave out warm clothing and coats at their recent community Christmas party but winters on PR can be brutal so Jerome and Theresa still need anything that can help keep a body warm but especially more warm coats for the school age kids. All our programs can use new or gently used towels and washcloths for babies through adults, they’re hard to come by on the Rez and frequently requested. For a complete listing of needs click on the current needs tab, each program has a page with needs and mailing information. We’ll update any critical needs or shortages as we learn of them.
For January we’ve chosen a project that helps with some of the learning issues of children in the Head Start program in Wanblee. They accept 40 students each year, 20 aged 3-4 and 20 aged 4-5 years. One of the main goals of Head Start is to help prepare children for kindergarten by working with students on developing fine motor skills, language, recognizing letters and numbers, etc. pointed out in this article. Equally important are social skills, emotional control and learning to follow directions so children can work together harmoniously. Parents also need to be part of their child’s education as noted in this article, by practicing skills taught at school, reading to them daily, etc. Most parents are on a limited budget and don’t have extra money to buy books and other materials so we would like to help by:
- Providing books so kids have something to read at school and at home where they can build their own library and parents can read to them. Kids benefit from being read to at least 15-20 minutes a day starting at 6 months.
- Providing a craft bag for each student to take home containing the basics such as crayons, pencils, paper, scissors, etc.
- Providing theme based literacy and skill bags (learning shapes, numbers, etc.) to the Head Start program so they can loan them out to students and skills can be worked on at home with parents. Other benefits include bonding time between parent and child as they work together and the bags provide a fun way for kids to share with their families what they’re learning at school which helps reinforce those concepts.
Over the next few weeks we’ll give you ideas for making the bags and what to put in them. We’ll post ideas on a Pinterest board that you can access. Time, staff and funding are limited for most programs on the Rez and with Head Start being no exception we’d like to help Lisa by compiling a binder of skill sheets she can copy for the students and by collecting a list of websites she can access that give information on reading and other topics of interest. You can help by sending us links to pages that aren’t copyrighted and suitable for copying and websites teachers can access for ideas and information. If any of you have books on crafts and kids activities please include those with your next box to Lisa she’ll put them to good use. We need your input of ideas you’ve used with your children or grandchildren or your class if you happen to be a teacher. Send in photos of your finished bags, sharing your projects is fun and inspires others.
We feel this project will take longer than a month to complete as we would like to send 40 craft and 40 literacy bags. This is a totally new idea for HS and with anything new there’s a lot of trial and error and tweaking involved to see what works best. For those of you interested in this project we need to hear from you. Can you help supply bags, books, craft supplies? Would you like to commit to a finished bag? If possible we would like to send a few bags for this school year but realize some of you are stretched thin after the holidays so shooting for next year’s class may be more realistic. So let us know what you think and if this idea appeals to you how you’re able to help. In the mean time please continue to send books to Lisa for use in class and to send home with the kids.
Thanks for your continued support! Happy New Year from Sew For Kids!