Pictured in the back row, from left, are Veronica Gant and Danielle Allen, Gila River/Akimel O’odham. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Monica Torres, Colorado River Indian Tribes heritage; Christina Solorzano; Louise Kaursgowva; Amy Borhauer, Hopi; Debra Sockyma, Hopi; and Aurilia Calamity, Navajo.

Arizona Early Childhood Educators Attend Institute Geared Toward Teaching Native American Students


A group of eight woman early childhood educators spent a week in June learning how to teach based on culture, specifically rural Native American and Hispanic cultures.

Their first course—Curriculum Building Through Cultural Literacy—had them developing early childhood education curriculum that focused on enhancing bilingual instruction and honoring the diverse cultures of Arizona.

The Helios Summer Institute is part of the Prescott College Early Childhood Teacher Education Programs for Arizona’s rural areas and is supported by a four-year grant of $608,000 from the Helios Education Foundation. The foundation’s goal is to recruit Native American, Hispanic or other underrepresented minorities who are working with children in Arizona’s rural and reservation communities.

“The grant gives Prescott College the opportunity to redouble its commitment to serving individuals who are teaching or interested in teaching on the reservations and in rural Arizona,” said Vicky Young, Prescott College’s coordinator for Native American Students, in a release.

Other workshops focused on children and nature, nutrition and cooking with local foods, and community traditions.

A limited number of Helios scholarships of $4,000 for full-time students per year are still available through fall 2012. Applicants must be Native American, Hispanic, or from another underrepresented group who work with young children in Arizona.

For more information contact Wendy Watson at wwatson@prescott.edu, (928) 350- 1013 or (877) 350-2100, ext. 1013, or Vicky Young at vyoung@prescott.edu, (800) 628-6343 or (928) 350-3200.

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