Thursday, June 14, 2007

Native students in Chicago Public Schools

On Tuesday (June 12), I was at Lakeview High School in Chicago for "The Faces of Native American Students." It was an achievement recognition ceremony and art exhibit to honor Native students in Chicago Public Schools.

My heart swelled to be part of that gathering. The accomplishments of children, from kindergarten through college students, were acknowledged. This was the first time the event was held.

The event itself was presented by Chicago Public Schools, Chicago's Title VII Indian Education Program's Citywide American Indian Education Council, Lake View High School's Native Club, and Lake View High School's chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering organization. They asked me to give their keynote address.

I talked with many of the students. At one point, I was talking with a six-year old avid reader. I asked if she'd read Cynthia Leitich Smith's Jingle Dancer. A 9th grader at my side brightly spoke up to say she'd read and liked that book.

The community there touched me in many ways. I plan to spend more time working with them. I am grateful to be included and welcomed into their community.


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