Break Description

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The Cherokee Nation Head Start Program provides high-quality early childhood education to lower income members of the Cherokee Nation. According to their website, the mission of the Early Childhood Unit is to “bring about a greater degree of social competence in children who may be disadvantaged.” The program is very important to make sure children from low income families get a “head start” to schooling so they don’t fall behind other children. The Cherokee Nation Head Start Program relies on volunteers for their success.

 Tahlequah, Oklahoma is right near the intersection of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas. It is the capital of the Cherokee Nation and a center of important cultural history. We will be taking time to learn about the Cherokee community both past and present.

During our mornings with the Head Start Program, we will be working with infants and children less than 5 years of age on various developmental and socializing activities, as well as assisting with any clerical or cleaning work that might be helpful for the program. In the afternoons, we will serve at Cherokee Landing State Park, participating in projects such as trail maintenance and flower bed planting. We hope to discuss the two service projects will lead to multiple conversations about environmental justice and the history of the land on which we will serve.

At night, we will be “indoor camping” (sharing a community gathering room and using sleeping bags and cushion pads) at a local church. In prior years, the church has given us the opportunity to serve at their weekly Feed My Sheep program, which offers a restaurant style meal for anyone in Tahlequah who wants a sit-down meal at community tables.

In order to fully serve our community partner, participants must be able to carry loads of up to 25 pounds. Due to these work conditions, the break is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible.

NOTE: This is a co-sponsored Alternative Spring Break with SafeRides.

You must be a member of SafeRides to participate with this break. For information about sign up deadlines and any further questions, please contact Sarah Edgarton and Brittany Kaplan

Focus on: Empowering Vulnerable Populations

Community: Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Leaders: Sarah Edgarton and Brittany Kaplan

Cost: $651

What type of travel will this break use? Domestic Flying

What kind of break is this? Spring Break

Departure Date: 03-07-2020

Return Date: 03-14-2020

What community partner will you be working with? Cherokee Nation Head Start and Cherokee Landing State Park *Co-Sponsored*

Currently Offered?: Yes

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