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Year: 2008 – Province: Northwest Territories
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Sister Celeste Child Development Centre
PO Box 130
Tulita, Northwest Territories X0E 0K0
Type of setting: Preschool for children ages 3 to 5
Philosophy of Care
The classroom should be a place of wonderment and delight where learning materials are strategically located to be within children's reach, and children are encouraged to explore and try out them out.
Support of Child Development
- Sets aside time each day for children to talk about themselves and listen to others. Each child gets a chance to give his or her own opinion and is encouraged to make positive and encouraging comments about others.
Involvement with Parents, Families and the Community
- Embraces the community, and its traditions and history. Sister Celeste visits the homes in the community. She also acted as the catalyst to produce a set of cultural storybooks about the Dene people who live in and around Tulita. She got permission from elders to tape their legends and stories and then produced 15 books, which feature transcriptions in the Slavey language as well as English translations. At present, she is working on nine more books of the legend of the People's creation story. In addition, she hired local teachers to teach the Slavey language and Dene culture and sets aside specials days for elders to come in and teach.
- Encourages and supports parents who wish to help their children read by showing them how to make reading time fun and by holding literacy classes when necessary.
"Sister and community members helped renovate the small house into Tulita's first preschool. There was an oil stove for heat, water tub and a basin for water, and a honey bucket, but best of all there was a play area, dolly corner, toys, art supplies and books that Sister had collected through asking and proposal writing…. Sister was there for each and every one of us. I was one of her first students and now I have my second child attending preschool." Parent
"Sister is also encouraging members of the community to take the early childhood program. She has written letters of support for them. One young lady is doing upgrading and is hoping to start the ECE program next fall so she can take over for Sister when she retires." Tulita resident