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Cherokee Nation proposes $40M investment towards 'Head Start' centers

Posted at 1:27 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 19:49:37-04

CHEROKEE NATION, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation has announced a new education initiative. Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. is proposing a plan to rebuild seven head start centers. He says the goal is to modernize the buildings which serve hundreds of Cherokee students from low income families.

The Head Start program serves about 800 students at eight locations in eastern Oklahoma. The Head Start students range between the ages of 6 weeks old to preschool-age. Hoskin says in some cases students have been learning in former Indian-built homes.

The proposed plan is to modernize the buildings with the latest classroom designs with improved technology and internet. Leaders say it’s vital to keep up with improvements that are taking place at other early learning centers in the state.

“We want to stay ahead of the curve. We want to meet the needs of the Cherokee people and this legislation helps us do that,” Chief Hoskin said.

The project will cost about $40 million. The majority of funding would come through the American Rescue Plan Act which is grant money provided by the government’s COVID-19 stimulus package.

A Cherokee Nation Council Committee will consider it at a meeting on Sept. 26. If approved there, it will go to the full council in October.

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