Building Strong Foundations with Alaska Native Families through Alaska Native Cultures and Education



Strong Native Children and Their Families Reaching Their Full Potential


Our program goals in working with our community are:


  • Establish a supportive learning environment for children, parents, and staff. Value & promote the building of awareness, skills, & understanding.
  • Recognize that the members of the Head Start community - children, families, & staff - have roots in many cultures. Work as a team and effectively promote respectful and proactive approaches to diversity.
  • Families are empowered when families, governing bodies, & staff share the responsibility of program governance. Hear and respect the ideas and opinions of families.
  • Embrace a comprehensive vision of health for children, families, & staff. Assure that basic health needs are met, encourage preventive health practices, and promote behaviors that enhance life-long well being.
  • Respect the importance of all aspects of individual development, including social, emotional, cognitive, & physical growth.
  • Build a community in which each child & adult is respected as an individual while still belonging to the group.
  • Foster relationships with the larger community to build a network of partners that respects families and staff.
  • Develop a continuum of care, education and services that allows stable, uninterrupted support to children & families before, during & after their Head Start experience.

--Source: Head Start Performance Standards; 45CFR, Introduction, page 1.

About The School:

At Cook Inlet Native Head Start (CINHS), we use the Creative Curriculum. The philosophy of the Creative Curriculum is, "children learn by doing", meaning that children explore the world around them by using all their senses (touching tasting, listening, smelling, and looking).

In using real materials such as blocks and trying out their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes, and colors and they notice relationships between things and how they work together. The most important goal of Creative Curriculum is to help children become enthusiastic life-long learners.

Our teachers encourage children to be active, creative, and to think their own thoughts. It is also our teacher's goal for children to learn to be independent, to develop self-confidence, and social skills. More than that, at Cook Inlet Native Head Start, we believe that culture is a very important part of a child's learning; therefore, recognition is given to parents as the child's first teacher.

We are able to meet the need of each child enrolled by individualizing in the areas of language, social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.

We encourage families to volunteer and develop a trusting relationship with their child's teacher to work together in preparing children for success in kindergarten and life-long education.


CINHS Board of Directors:


Jon Ross


Vice President

Nicole Sheldon



Gregory P. Razo



Amy Fredeen



James Sears



Dr. Angela Michaud



Susan Anderson

CINHS Policy Council:



Cassidy Balluta


Vice Chair

Brandi Franzen


Secretary/Community Member

Randi Francis


Parent Representative

Mellissia Bergman


Parent Representative

Jessica Kuzakin


Community Representative

Tessie Chilton