- Category: news
- Created: Friday, 27 September 2013 14:33
- Published: Friday, 27 September 2013 14:33
- Written by Administrator 3
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By Kim Tams
A group of 3 and 4 year olds attending the Pre-K program at the Opokaa’sin Child Development Centre learn to speak Blackfoot by an Elder. “We have one little boy that soon as we say we are going to count in Blackfoot he is right there,” says Elder and teacher Velma Eagle Bear. “We have taken him as a lead in that.
Opokaa’sin is the Blackfoot word meaning ‘all the children’ . It’s the first school in Lethbridge for First Nations children. 60 children attend the school and right now only Pre- k and kindergarten are offered.
Some of the kids are from surrounding reserves others live in Lethbridge. “If we have parents that travel from the reserve who travel to work or go to school and they want to have their children in daycare or K5 they are more than welcome,” says Edna Badeagle the Opokaa’sin child learning co-ordinator.”The majority of people registered are people living in Lethbridge.”
Opokaa’sin only opened it’s doors 2 weeks ago in this location, but has been serving the aboriginal community since 1996. Only recently did it start offering school programs. It’s funded through the Canadian government, the Kainai school board as well as Health Canada.”We are working with the Kainai board of education to implement the K5 program,” adds Edna Badeagle. “They are looking at how successful it is and maybe we can expand in 5 years and incorporate more of the grades.”