The Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute’s (SIPI) Early Childhood program, together with the Youth Development Incorporated (YDI) happily launched their Restorative Teachings initiative on April 26, 2016. SIPI’s initiative seeks to develop a campus wide community that is inclusive of SIPI staff, faculty, students and the YDI Head Start. The collaborative initiative will focus on providing educational opportunities that support knowledge in the areas of health/ wellness and economic security.
SIPI has worked hard over the course of several months to develop brainstorming and collective visioning opportunities to all stakeholders in hopes of developing a community based program. SIPI experienced positive outcomes with the Wakanyeja “Sacred Little Ones” Initiative by involving community voices in planning an implementation. “We’ve always felt very proud that our programs have emerged from community needs. It’s important to include parents, teachers, faculty, and leadership in the planning process. This helps us assure a responsive program” stated Danielle Lansing, Project Director for the Initiative.
Recently, SIPI’s Restorative Teachings team facilitated a brainstorming session with YDI Head Start teachers. Teachers were asked to provide input into the types of health and wellness information that would benefit families served by the Head Start. Teachers also indicated that training sessions would also increase their awareness regarding resources they might provide for families in the future. Over the course of the initiative, SIPI will provide 6 training opportunities in the form of “Lunch and Learn” sessions for teachers. In addition, 6 educational opportunities will also be provided for SIPI’s families. Some of the most popular topics parents and teachers identified include: car seat safety, financial literacy, socio-emotional health, fitness, and cooking healthy. With community voices as its foundation, the SIPI Restorative Teachings Initiative is off to a great start!