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Where is Each One Teach One?

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mother and daughter readingMobilizing Volunteers One by One—No More Gap

What an honor to be invited as a guest teacher for an undergraduate Teacher Education class at Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU), the only 4 year institution of higher education for Native American students. Students hail from points north, south, east and west: from Reservations in Oklahoma, New Mexico, and South Dakota; from a MissouriKyle town with a population of 64; and from urban areas. No matter where they grew up, the rich tradition of “explaining by telling a story” that is foundational to Native American cultures poured from the students as they used rich, descriptive words to talk about a simple picture book and its characters.

The HINU Cultural Center and Museum documents students' tradition of giving to their community since the 1930s as a way to demonstrate the strength and endurance of indigenous cultures. The current Education students' respectful listening to each other's ideas makes them premier candidates as Each One Teach One ambassadors in their now-shared community of Lawrence, Kansas. Enlightened by their professor Mrs. Jackie B. about the power of vocabulary and oral communication to prepare children for success in school, these future teachers can Hannahpledge their commitment to No More Gap for the children at the Little Nations Day Care on the HINU campus or for a class at the elementary school across the street from HINU. Even a reticent 15-year-old raised in a family tradition of giving to her community pledged her commitment to pass on the power of new words to a young friend—one more ambassador to the Lawrence community.

Many HINU Education students return to their Reservations to empower their community through school achievement. The possibilities of Each One Teach One to engage children in conversations about books prompted one Education student to learn to do Each One Teach One with her 26-month old daughter and to share the information with her mom, who is the Reading Specialist at a school on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, the third largest in the country.Jimmy

Each One Teach One gives ordinary people in small towns, big cities, and now Indian Reservations the power to pledge with their time and hearts to No More Gap.

My deepest gratitude to Mrs. Jackie B. for believing in the commonalities between Each One Teach One and Native American oral communication and community values and to Jen, Kyle (a special thanks for volunteering to be my demonstration partner), Keisha (a special thanks for sharing your precious Nyasia with me), Blake, Jimmy, Steven, and Hannah for giving me the privilege of sharing three hours with them. The least I could do is secure a postponement of your historical fiction test!

My gratitude to Patricia M. who saw Each One Teach One as an opportunity for high school leadership, and big words of thanks to Brittany who charmed me and envisioned a way to be a vocabulary ambassador.