Montessori Language Nest-Urban Area
We have accomplished our short-term goal as described in our proposal to the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council. The Montessori American Indian Childcare Center (MAICC) began serving children on November 24
thus accomplishing goal 1 of our short term goals. We currently serve seven children and their families. On September 21
a cohort of three new children will start at MAICC. Three additional families are in teh process of completing their applications with a astart date in January. We are licesned to serve twenty children and will continue to conduct outreach in the community
with the goal to have a full complement of 20 children by the fall of 2016. All seven (100%) of our children are exposed to Lakota on a daily basis as a living language and as part of the learning environment. The D/Lakota language teacher speaks only D/Lakota to the children throughout the day. We lost our Ojibwe speaker in February. While we do not have a fluent Ojibwe speaker in the classroom speaking only Ojibwe to the children
the children are exposed to the Ojibwe language throughout the day during presentations
drum and visiting elders in the classroom. The symbolic level (animals
colors) continue to be taught by the Primary Guide during the day. We have been in operation less than a year and are still experimenting with the best method to measure D/Lakota and Ojibwe language acquisition for three and four year olds. The children as observed by the Lakota teacher can follow most directions/commands/requests and phrases offered by the D/Lakota language teacher. All of the phrases and commands are taught as a living language and relate to the children's work in the Montessori environment. Because of teaching languae and dculture to thte children
we are seeing tremendous growth in the children intellectually
and spiritually during the short time they have been with us. The children continue to show progress as observed by the Primary Guide
in their social and emotional development
approaches to learning
creativity and the arts
and indigenous language acquisition.
The goal of the Montessori Language Nest is to engage young children and their families in strengthening their cultural wellness through language acquisition and revitalization of cultural parenting/child rearing practices. This will be accomplished through short and long term goals, measure through objectives to produced the intended outcomes. With in the first six months, the project goal will establish a childcare center license to offer services so that outreach and enrollment of 12-15 children and their families can begin, with children between the ages of three and four being targeted.The Montessori Method is designed to be a slow-growth enrollment process.In year two, three to five new three year old children will be accepted into the program, . It is the ultimate goal of this project that 100% of the children will have access to Native Language Instruction, with children demonstrating an improved Native language proficiency (in either Dakota or Ojibwe) by the end of each year.This will be demonstrated through the work sampling tool, as well as, through observation of language use including simple verbal commands, colors, signing, and courtesy through kinship terms at the end of the year. Children will be observed every six month for growth in use and knowledge. This project will also offer bi-weekly family Language Nest sessions that focus on language and parenting child rearing practices that strengthen parenting and cultural identity, with 80 percent of parents having access to these language nests.This will also enable parents to demonstrate an increased level of cultural leadership through the use of language in the home and the community.