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.


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.

Pokagon Band Holly Fair
Saturday, Dec. 2 
11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Dowagiac Middle School

Registration coming soon!

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.

Upcoming events include:
Zoo Trip

For more information, please contact Rachel Orvis at drorvis@gmail.com.

Neshnabé mbokén
First Wednesday of each month (begins Sept. 6)
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. Kindly RSVP to be entered to win a raffle. Must be present to win

Family Pow Wow Sweat
Coming in September
PHS Wellness Multipurpose Room

Pow Wow Sweat videos will be shown for families interested in participating.

Pow Wow Sweat from Pokagon Band on Vimeo.

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.

Harvest Day
Sat, Sept. 30 | 10am–1pm
Dowagiac Middle School

The Early Childhood Education program and the Domestic Violence program welcome citizens and staff to a day of family fun, including movies, crafts, activities, pumpkins, and more! Don't forget to wear your costume for prizes. Lunch is provided.

DV education and awareness will also be offered to participants at this event. Pre-register by Sept. 25 and be entered in several raffles. Must be present to win. For more information, please contact Autumn Laraway at (269) 462-4327 or Casey Kasper at (269) 462-4324.

Spring Into Your Local Library
Spring 2018
Details coming soon!