Project: “Latseen” – Strength
Grantee: Cook Inlet Native Head Start
Story by: Ember Thomas

The CIRI Foundation generously funded a project for Cook Inlet Native Head Start parents with the goal of better preparing our children for academic success through resiliency. Research has indicated that children who are immersed in education programs that integrate the children’s home language and home culture result in better overall outcomes in both academics and life in general (Galinski, 2006).

Attendance at the earliest stages of school is important. Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade or be held back. It is important for us at CINHS to provide a well-rounded program that includes the entire family. Providing parent classes like these, only helps the family.

CINHS held two classes for CINHS parents; one model ikyax class, and one grass weaving class. The classes were in the evening with dinner catered and childcare available. A few comments from parents in response to the question, “What did you enjoy about this class?”

“Learning how easy weaving is, how easy it is to pick the grass (near salt-water).”

“Everything! – Oh, and daycare!”

“The comradery among the parents, the traditional explanations, and the patience of the teacher.”

“Enjoyed the one-on-one with the instructor, as well as learning the history behind Unangax kayak making. Catering and childcare is a huge weight off my shoulders. Thank you!”

Building a strong foundation for our families is our mission, and we believe providing these types of classes benefits our students, families, and community.

Qagaasakuq TCF!