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Cherokee Chief plans changes to meet demand of growing immersion school

Posted: 5:08 PM, Sep 05, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-05 19:17:05-04
Cherokee immersion school is growing

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — For the first time this year, the Cherokee Immersion School is teaching 140 students, a number that keeps going up.

From ages three to 14, students are learning all subjects in the native language.

"There's not that much fluent speakers in our language now and most of them are passing. I guess the Cherokee Nation just thinks that kids should learn Cherokee so they can be fluent speakers too," 5th grader Daisha Sixkiller said.

Right now the Cherokee Chief is working on a plan to expand the campus, using the old casino as a new facility for the growing demand.

"I think there is a hunger among our people to learn their language, learn their culture... that's true everywhere. Those who can send their children to this school... I think that's a good sign that more and more of them are doing it," Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said.

Students tell 2 Works for You they hope to teach what they learn to future generations.

"Some people may not know Cherokee when I get older and I want my kids... I want my kids to learn it," 5th grader Braidence Vann said.

Others are excited to have this responsibility.

"You don't want it to fall apart and stuff and have people forget about it," 5th grader Cooper Chupco said.

Currently there are less than 2,000 fluent Cherokee speakers, and the school is prepared to change that.

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