Zagbëgon: An Early Learning and Development Academy


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Registration for 2022-2023 is now open to all.

            * Limited availability with registration preference given to returning Zagbëgon students.

Click Here to Apply






  • Must be at least 3 years old by Sept 1
  • Applicants will be selected on a first come first serve basis, pending tier status
    • Tier 1: Pokagon Band citizens, siblings, and/or residents in a Pokagon household;
    • Tier 2: Other Native Americans;
    • Tier 3: All Other; Special consideration will be given to PBOPI employees for Tier 3 status

Early Childhood Development <back to top

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! 

    Upcoming Early Childhood Events

For more information, please contact
Autumn Carlson Early Childhood Education Associate
(269) 462-4327

Zagbëgon: An Early Learning & Development Academy <back to top

Zagbëgon means sprouts in Potawatomi. Our Zagbëgon have grown from seeds and now have their own roots. Zagbëgon are peeking out from gokmeskinan (our grandmother earth) so they can look about their world and begin to form their identities and grow stronger with all of creation.

Hours of Operation
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: (269) 783-2469

Zibé (River Room)
Mrs. Kellie and Mrs. Carrie
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Peshkwa (Meadow Room)
Ms. Tammy and Ms. Mandy
9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.



Autumn Carlson – Site Director – (269) 462-4327

Elizabeth Milliken – Center Assistant – (269) 783-2469

Donald Sumners – Elder Cultural Associate - (269) 462-4237

Gerald Inman – Cook - (269) 462-4289

Cecil Wilson Jr – Bus Driver/Class Aid - (269) 462-4330

Cheri Sullivan – Bus Driver/Class Aid - (269) 462-4332


Kellie Wilson – Zibé -

Carrie Neumann – Zibé –

Tamela Watson – Peshkwa –

Amanda Busch – Peshkwa –


Our Philosophy of Early Childhood Education 

We believe that every child is a unique creation of the Creator, and that the body, mind, and spirit of each child should be nurtured. As such, we seek to meet each child where he or she is emotionally, developmentally, spiritually, educationally, and socially, and we apply these principles to each facet of our planning, instruction, and activities. Children will experience fun and friendships under the guidance of teachers and staff who embrace and model the culture and heritage of the Potawatomi people.

Cultural Infusion

Culture infusion is a major focus for any tribal community and needs to be deeply secured within our following generations. Providing cultural pride within our future generations must be one of our most sincere obligations as stewards of the next seven generations.

Zagbëgon integrates cultural teachings whenever possible when providing educational opportunities for student learning. The need to work across all borders are important but preserving Pokagon Band Potawatomi's unique identity is a responsibility that garners serious attention.

Curriculum Development

The initiative to assist in the building of a culturally appropriate curriculum is a strong focus of Zagbëgon and reaches out to the many valuable and treasured opportunities to create a community with social commitment.

The value realized from thoughtful and caring instruction is the prime focus for curriculum development. With assistance and guidance from Language and Culture lessons will be developed that instill a cultural identity and purpose and encourages future growth. 

All children and their families will have a healthy sense of identity and belonging.

To serve children, families, and community by creating a safe and nurturing environment that provides social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and academic support.