“Carrie Spotted Bear, Zero to Five’s Montana Early Childhood Tribal Policy Coordinator, also shared Native language legislative updates.
Hired in 2021, Spotted Bear shared that one of the revelations the organization has had is that early childhood language learning is a family endeavor. Zero to Five has invested in the creation of kids’ books in tribal languages that families can take with them to encourage learning at home.
In May of this year, the organization also launched a new pilot program to assist communities throughout the state build their own language learning policies, programs and systems. The programs will provide families resources and opportunities to help language thrive. Mini grants are available to applicants to offset program costs and to increase parental engagement. This year, Spotted Bear got involved with legislation for early childhood language learning as well.
“Learning a language is so important for kids; it helps them understand their identity and heritage,” Spotted Bear commented.”