Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Education program offers services to help promote early literacy, family strengthening, school readiness, and quality education for children birth through Pre-K. There are many exciting events for children and families throughout the year! Children are required to have an Educational Release on file to participate.

The Discovery Kits application is open now! Complete this form for your child(ren) ages 0–2. Pick up is during the month of June.


The Early Childhood Education program offers workshops named Gwikwé'amen. The verb "gwikwé'amen" talks about us wrapping a child in a blanket as a symbol of love and devotion. This comes from our hearts and the desire to take care of each other. It is our job to look out for one another, especially our children.

Pokagon Band Holly Fair
December 2017
Details coming soon!

Early Childhood Education Events

Débénwéthêk Parent Group
In Potawatomi, Débénwéthêk means the ones who take care of others. The goal of Débénwéthêk Parent Group is to develop opportunities for Pokagon families to spend quality time with one another and create meaningful experiences together.

Débénwéthêk Parent Group is composed of parents and caregivers of children under 8 years of age and meets every third Wednesday of the month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Childcare is provided.

Upcoming events include:
Family Picnic
Touch A Truck
Zoo Trip

For more information, please contact Rachel Orvis at drorvis@gmail.com.

PALS (Play and Learn Social)
Join other parents and children ages 0–8 for an opportunity to engage with one another in play and learning activities every first Tuesday and third Thursday of the month from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Location varies, but the group generally meets in the PHS Multi-Purpose Room. For more information, please contact Rachel Orvis at drorvis@gmail.com.

Join us in April to learn about spring. PALS will be 1-year-old and celebrating with a Birthday Bash on April 20!

Practice the "Bozho Song" with your child(ren) at home! Just play the video below.

Bozho Song from Pokagon Band on Vimeo.

*These gatherings will be cancelled due to extreme weather in accordance with Dowagiac Schools, if they issue a delay or if they cancel school altogether.

Spring Into Your Local Library a Traditional Lifeways Workshop
Dowagiac District Library
Saturday, May 13 2017

Jefferson Ballew, traditionalist from the Pokagon Band, will utilize items gathered from the earth to create a Sacred Fire. He will explain the tools and natural materials used to create the fire and the relationships we have to those items. Them we'll experience a Deep Nature Connection with Justin Lake. Through stories and outdoor activities, we will learn routines that awaken our senses and help us restore our connections with the natural world. We will be exploring what it means to feel a deep sense of place.

Harvest Day
Dowagiac Middle School

Details coming soon!