Sealaska Heritage

BABY RAVEN READS

BABY RAVEN READS

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Sealaska Heritage sponsors Baby Raven Reads, an award-winning program that promotes early-literacy, language development and school readiness for Alaska Native families with children up to age 5. The pilot program in Juneau ended in 2017, and SHI received funding to offer the program for another three years and to expand it to nine other communities in Southeast Alaska. SHI—in partnership with Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA) Head Start program—will offer the three-year program in Juneau, Angoon, Craig, Hoonah, Klawock, Petersburg, Saxman, Sitka, Wrangell and Yakutat through 2020. 

Baby Raven Reads improves early literacy skills by translating cultural strengths into home literacy practices. Baby Raven Reads provides family literacy events, training for care providers, and professional development for early childhood educators.


Latest News

Baby Raven Reads regular programming will pause in June and resume in September.

Gumboot Camp, a pre-kindergarten camp, will take place in Yakutat and Juneau in July. This place-based and culturally focused camp is designed for Alaska Native children ages 4 and 5 years old.  Experienced early childhood educators will choose a theme and children will be fully immersed in projects to showcase to parents at the end of the week. Enrollment will open in May, space is limited. 

Gumboot Camp dates:

  • Juneau: July 22-26
  • Yakutat: July 29– August 2

Literacy Events

Family literacy events will occur 9 times a year in each community. Storytelling, songs, and other literacy activities are available to Alaska Native families with children up to age 5.  Through playful and culturally relevant activities with parents, children are provided opportunities to practice and develop skills such as oral language, phonological awareness, print awareness, and letter knowledge. 

The following events have been scheduled in each community. Please note that dates are subject to change.

Angoon: 2-4 pm on Jan. 19, Feb. 16; March 9, April 20, and May 18

Craig: 3-5 pm on Jan. 5, Feb. 7, March 2, April 4, and May 4

Hoonah: 1-3 pm on Jan. 25, Feb. 22, March 29, April 26, and May 24

Juneau: 1-3 pm on April 13,  and 10 am-12 pm on May 18

Klawock: 2:30-4:30 pm on Jan. 27, Feb. 24, March 31, April 28 and May 31

Petersburg: 10-11:30 am on Jan 12, Feb. 9, March 9, April 13, and May 11

Saxman: 1-3 pm on Jan 13, Feb. 3, March 10, April 7, and May 19

Sitka: Jan. 19, Feb. 16, March 16, April 13, and May 11

Wrangell: 10 am-12 pm on Jan. 19, Feb. 9, March 16, April 20, and May 11

Yakutat: 11 am- 1 pm on Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March, 9, April 27, May 11, and May 18 


Baby Raven Books

Baby Raven Reads publications are a collection based on the cultural themes of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian. The illustrations in the Baby Raven Reads series reflect the importance of family, subsistence, and our land.  From baby board books to early readers and read a-louds, babies to adults can find joy in reading together. Families enrolled in Baby Raven Reads will receive Baby Raven Reads books with literacy activities to do at home. Books are also available through the Sealaska Heritage Store. (Read a Review)  


Community Liaisons

Community liaisons are the point of contact in communities for all communications regarding the project.

  • Angoon: Shiann Kookesh
  • Craig: Loni Lingley
  • Klawock: Janelle Friday
  • Juneau: Miriah Twitchell
  • Hoonah: Jamie Erickson
  • Petersburg: Debra Eddy
  • Saxman: Gabriella Daniels
  • Sitka: Sydney Evenson
  • Wrangell: Delila Wigg
  • Yakutat: Akasha Moulton

For individual contact information, please email Community Coordinator Susie Edwardson at babyravenreads@sealaska.com 


Literacy Activities 

The following lesson plans were developed by SHI staff for the Baby Raven Reads program. SHI encourages parents and teachers to download them for their own use.

Alphabet lessons

Am'ala lessons (for use with the Baby Raven Reads book Am'ala)

"Berries" lessons (for use with the Baby Raven Reads book Picking Berries)

"Colors" lessons (for use with the Baby Raven Reads book Colors)

More lesson plans coming soon!

 


Audio Resources

SHI's Language Podcast includes the following episodes related to the Baby Raven Reads series:

  • Colors in Sm'algyax
  • Colors in Xaad Kíl​
  • Colors in Tlingit
  • Baby Raven
  • Baby Eagle
  • Haida Baby Raven 
  • Haida Baby Eagle

Tlingit audio for the Baby Raven Reads book Shanyaak'utlaax - Salmon Boy is available here.  

 


Awards

Baby Raven Reads was recognized in 2017 by the Library of Congress, which gave SHI its 2017 Best Practice Honoree award (watch a video short of former Education Director Jackie Kookesh accepting the award). In February 2018, the  American Indian Library Association awarded SHI's book Shanyaak'utlaax: Salmon Boy its American Indian Youth Literature Best Picture Book Award winner.  Also in February 2018, SHI’s Baby Raven book How Devil’s Club Came to Be was reviewed by the American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) blog as a recommended title.

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