Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Education program offers services to help promote early literacy, family strengthening, school readiness, and quality education for children birth through Pre-K. There are many exciting events for children and families throughout the year! Children are required to have an Educational Release on file to participate. If you have any questions about Early Childhood Education programs and events contact Autumn Laraway, early childhood educational associate, at autumn.laraway@pokagonband-nsn.gov or (269) 462-4327.

Baby Celebration
Saturday, Apr 21
Community Center

Spring Into Your Local Library
Saturday, May 12  | 10am
Dowagiac District Library | 211 Commercial St.

Honoring Our Mothers Brunch
Sunday, May 6
Community Center

Harvest Day
Saturday, Oct 6

Gwikwé'amen

The Early Childhood Education program offers workshops named Gwikwé'amen. The verb "gwikwé'amen" talks about us wrapping a child in a blanket as a symbol of love and devotion. This comes from our hearts and the desire to take care of each other. It is our job to look out for one another, especially our children.

Gwikwé'amen Holly Fair
Saturday, Dec. 1 | 11am

Early Childhood Education Events

Débénwéthêk Parent Group
In Potawatomi, Débénwéthêk means the ones who take care of others. The goal of Débénwéthêk Parent Group is to develop opportunities for Pokagon families to spend quality time with one another and create meaningful experiences together.

Débénwéthêk Parent Group is composed of parents and caregivers of children under 8 years of age and meets every third Wednesday of the month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Childcare is provided.

For more information about the Débénwéthêk Parent Group, please contact Rachel Orvis at drorvis@gmail.com.

Air Zoo
Saturday, April 14

Family Movie Night
Friday, May 11 | 7pm
Community Center

Penothé Nimédiwen
Saturday, May 19

Family Picnic
Saturday, June 23

Hackers Family Day
Saturday, July 28

Family Movie Night
Friday, August 10 | 7pm
Community Center

Touch A Truck
Saturday, August 18

Binder Zoo
Saturday, September 8

Nature Center
Saturday, September 29

Family Movie Night
Friday, Nov. 9 | 7pm
Community Center

Neshnabé mbokén
First Wednesday of each month
4 p.m.–5 p.m.
Dowagiac District Library

Neshnabé mbokén is a children's book club, which will have a focus on Native American books & authors. This program is open to the public and welcomes all ages to attend. For more information, please contact Erin Byrket-Burggraf at topash240512@gmail.com.

PALS (Play and Learn Social)
Join other parents and children ages 0–8 for an opportunity to engage with one another in play and learning activities every first Tuesday and third Thursday of the month from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Location varies, but the group generally meets in the PHS Multi-Purpose Room. For more information, please contact Rachel Orvis at drorvis@gmail.com.

Join us in August to learn about Deer and Bravery! Themes are based on Medicine Wheel Teachings.

Practice the "Bozho Song" with your child(ren) at home! Just play the video below.

Bozho Song from Pokagon Band on Vimeo.

*These gatherings will be cancelled due to extreme weather in accordance with Dowagiac Schools, if they issue a delay or if they cancel school altogether.