The Cochiti people have always recognized that each individual who enters this world has a gift to share, “which is manifested through one’s contribution to the community” (Romero, 2004). To assist each child in beginning the development of his/her potential “gift” and “contribution,” the Keres Children’s Learning Center will provide the child learning opportunities in the following areas:
- Physical Development – development of gross/fine motor skills, culturally appropriate nutritional practices, and physical activities that are necessary for sound, healthy living;
- Spiritual Development — based on Keres ways of socializing and guiding children in their formative years of development, an essential aspect of this spiritual development is respect for the child;
- Social Development — based on Keres beliefs and practices that promote cooperative skills in social interactions, including respect for others. For instance, through the acquisition and development of appropriate pueblo manners and behaviors, children begin to learn their roles and responsibilities as family and community members.
- Intellectual Development — based on the intellectual traditions of Cochiti people, children will be provided challenging and developmentally appropriate opportunities to engage them in examining, exploring, and discovering their natural world within the context of Cochiti daily life.
- Emotional Development — based on two fundamental Keres principles of harmony (spirituality) and kinship (relationship with others), children will learn their dual roles as individual and community members through vital practices that emphasize cooperation and sharing. This emphasis reaffirms the individual child as an integral and important part of a community rather than focusing on an individualistic or competitive emphasis.
- Linguistic Development— The Cochiti language is fundamental in the transmission of cultural knowledge and traditional values and the development of strong individual and community identities. Therefore, it will serve as the primary medium of instruction by which individual tribal members develop and maintain their relationships to family and community.
- Grace and Courtesy – Respect is one of the most important values in Pueblo culture. Our Keres language has many sayings and behaviors that teach children the ways in which we show one another respect so as to live more harmoniously in our communities. KCLC honors these practices of grace and courtesy according to the traditional values and beliefs of Cochiti Pueblo
Traditional Cochiti Pueblo Life
The maintenance of traditional Cochiti Pueblo life in today’s world requires a deep commitment and constant vigilance from Native families, leaders, educators, and non-Native allies. Critical in the process of language and cultural maintenance is the inherent right for Native peoples to educate their children in their own languages and through their own world view. Consequently, Keres Children’s Learning Center aims to support Cochiti families and the community as they continue to guide their children through the formative years of their early development, which will serve as the most critical foundation for their future education in and beyond their homes and communities.