Over the past three months, an innovative new program has engaged Apache children up to age six with events both online and in person – virtual story books read aloud, a guided craft activity painting from cute little “history stones” and even a scavenger hunt inviting families to walk down San Carlos Avenue while encouraging their children to search for hidden treasures. Completely free and rewarding online events continue on June 16 at 4 p.m., creating baby photo books to help your little ones develop their reading skills, and again on June 23 when attendees build a ‘box. rhyming ‘to help children develop pre-reading skills and get ready to read through play. Find the link for these and upcoming events at extension.arizona.edu/gowa, email [email protected], or call Christine Carlson at (928) 978-5774.
“We are excited to offer this new program to parents or guardians in San Carlos Apache, grandparents, child care providers and aunts and uncles who care for babies, toddlers and children. children from birth to age six, ”said Christine Carlson, the University of Arizona Teaching Specialist who coordinates Gowa Learning Moments for Apache children as part of the Co-op Extension Program of the AU. “This early literacy program provides free materials and events to help children up to the age of six develop the skills they need to learn to read and be successful. Singing, speaking, playing, reading, and writing are all ways to help young children prepare to read, they are also activities that are so easily added to your daily routine. Check out our website: extension.arizona.edu/Gowa for storytime videos, activity ideas, quick tips, and information on upcoming virtual and in-person events. Parents are also welcome to like us and follow us on facebook.com/gilaextension. We look forward to seeing you and your family at a Gowa Teachable Moments event soon!
The word Apache is at the head of the name of the program: “Gowa” represents a home where learning begins at an early age. The advisory board suggested including it in the name of the program, as one of the goals of this program is to help families make their homes places where learning begins at an early age. This wonderful new program has been developed with significant local input. An advisory board of members of the Apache community of San Carlos helping to develop this program includes board members LaToya Beatty – First Things First, Regional Director; Juliet Benvenuto – Tribal social services, educator; Veronica Gossett – First Things First, Outreach Coordinator; Cheryl Haozous – San Carlos Unified School District, parent educator; Heather Haozous – San Carlos Unified School District, parent educator; Lorenda Kenton – Tribal Social Services, educator; Beatrice Lee – Preservation of the Apache language, Director; Nikki Lewis – Library District, Community Liaison for Early Literacy; LJ Murphy – Apache Wellness Center of San Carlos, psychologist; Nolita April Noline – Head Start and Childcare, Director; and Bernadette Talkalai – Preservation of the Apache Language, Apache Teacher for Early Childhood Teachers.
Documents and videos that you can find online at extension.arizona.edu/Gowa started with a video on open questions. New thoughtful and creative handouts and videos showcase how you can use a grocery insert to coax a child’s early literacy. Explore the website for family activities using songs, family stories and games to promote early literacy; explore books with your children; and be smart on screen time. To find all of these documents, go to extension.arizona.edu/gowa, scroll down to the Activities section and click “View all activities” to view the documents and Quick Tips videos. Facebook is also a fun and convenient way to connect. Like and follow facebook.com/gilaextension for announcements of new events and programs. And please help spread the word about Gowa: Teachable Moments for Apache Children – talk to parents, grandparents, and other caregivers (Head Start, preschool teachers, and family child care providers) about this new program and creative website.