Native stories at Baby Raven Reads this Saturday

Baby Raven Reads is a program sponsored by the Sealaska Heritage Institute giving native children an opportunity to learn about their history and culture through stories, activities, and music, according to community liaison Delila Ramirez. The monthly program is in its second year, she said. The next reading day will be Sat., Dec. 8 at Head Start from 10 a.m. to noon..

"It promotes early literacy, language development, and school readiness for Alaska native families," Ramirez said.

The target audience for Baby Raven Reads is children five-years-old and younger, but Ramirez said that older children do sometimes attend and have a fun time. This month's reading program will be "Raven Makes the Aleutians," a story about how the Aleutian islands were made. Virginia Oliver and Lu Knapp will be reading the story and telling it with puppets. There will also be native music at the event and activities for the children to participate in. All native families with small children are invited to attend.

Ramirez said she first got involved with Baby Raven Reads this past summer, as a parent helper and became the community liaison in September. She has nothing but praise for the Baby Raven Reads program, and is excited about this month's story.

"This project is supposed to teach the children about friendship, being kind, sharing, and having fun together," she said. "There's like four different activities we do. We just have little stations. For example, one of the activities is 'grow an island,' the next activity is 'Raven and friend,' the next is 'bean bag island,' and the next one is 'sinking and floating.'"

"I can't wait to get more involvement, hopefully, because I just love the children. I love doing what I do," Ramirez said. "It's a wonderful program, and I just hope that we can get more involvement, and get more people to actually show up and see what it's about."


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