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Press Release

Release Date: July 01, 2022
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Chickasaw Nation Early Childhood and Head Start programs in Ada graduated prekindergarten students May 18. Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby presented students with a diploma during their graduation ceremony, which took place at the Chickasaw Nation Community Center in Ada.

Chickasaw Princess Faithlyn Seawright, Chickasaw Junior Princess Jayla Underwood and Little Miss Chickasaw Nannola Wallace offered the invocation at the event. Chickasaw Nation Head Start Supervisor Wes Brown addressed the crowd before diplomas were given to the students.

“These Chickasaw Nation Early Childhood students have reached a milestone,” Brown said. “We are here to celebrate the achievement of graduating from the program.”

The early childhood program, along with the Head Start Center, provides school readiness instruction and parent support to children ages 3 through 5.

The Chickasaw Nation Head Start Program has operated for many decades. In 1978, the program began serving the Chickasaw Nation, graduating its first 33 students. Now open in four locations, Chickasaw Nation Head Start and Early Childhood programs serve hundreds of families.

The program is a comprehensive, family-focused resource with developmentally appropriate preparation for educational success. Students have access to individualized education plans, health and wellness screenings, nutrition services, and family engagement. Cultural instruction rounds out the knowledge base children receive. Upon graduation, they are ready to succeed in kindergarten.

The Ada Chickasaw Nation Early Childhood Program reached a milestone in 2018, achieving international accreditation through the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.

Graduate Troy Black’s mother, Chandra Black, was on hand during the ceremony. Mrs. Black believes the early childhood program at the Chickasaw Nation has prepared her son for traditional school.

“He learned everything from his ABCs to numbers,” Mrs. Black said. “Colors and shapes were really fun for him. He also learned social skills like how to introduce himself and make friends. They even worked with him while potty training. The Head Start has prepared him for school.”

The early childhood program is tribally funded and serves Chickasaw citizens. The Head Start centers are both federally and tribally funded and serve students from any federally recognized First American tribe.

The Sulphur and Tishomingo Head Start facilities have recently been renovated, making room for more students.

The early childhood and Head Start programs accept applications throughout the year. Preference is given to Chickasaw, First American and low-income families, and children with disabilities. For more information or to obtain an application, visit Chickasaw.net/EarlyChildhood.