Chickahominy's Little Arrows
Little Arrow’s began with a vision from our director, Candace Dickerson, and is now flourishing! Our childcare houses our preschoolers aged 2-5, before and after school students, as well as virtual students. Since opening day on 09/20/2021, our number of attendees has grown from 11 students to 25 students!
In the short time Little Arrows has been open, we have been able to create many partnerships within our local community, from the police department to our sister tribes. We currently partner with the Chickahominy Indian Tribe and their Childcare and Development Program to assist eligible families in paying for the cost of childcare. This program also helps to ensure our childcare staff are certified and well trained in all areas to meet state requirements. Little Arrows has also partnered with Ross Miller (New Kent) to ensure that our 4-5-year classroom is supported using Kindergarten Readiness guidelines.
The greatest joy is that we are able to tie in culture with our student’s day to day learning. Our Cultural Director, Tanya Stewart, comes to the classrooms weekly to teach students our native skills and history. Our Little Arrows love this time with her as they can learn new things, while also creating traditional pieces such as necklaces and bracelets. We are all excited that our culture is being preserved through our children.
Our teachers use the “learning through fun” approach with our preschoolers, which engages them to learn without them even realizing it! Our students get to venture out on field trips like Holly Fork Farm and The Children’s Museum. They had their very own VIP premiere of “Sing 2,” and had a private Petting Zoo come out for them to enjoy. Our students have shown so much progress since September and we cannot wait to see where our Little Arrows will go next.
Childcare Compliance Coordinator
Shawn is a long-standing member of the Chickahominy Indian Tribe. She is happily married with two adult children, Chase and Larsen. She worked in the school system for many years, assisting with the Head Start Program in Charles City. While in that program she continued her education by obtaining her Child Development Associate Certification, which helps to support our childcare program and the learning for the youth. As our Childcare Compliance Coordinator, Shawn has used her knowledge and resources to make Little Arrows not only a valuable program for Citizens, but educational, fun, and stimulating. Shawn has a passion for children which shows in their faces when they come in and see “Ms. Shawn”!
Noah is a member of the Chickahominy Tribe, who came during the Pandemic shut down to support the virtual program for students. He has remained with CIT-ED, was very valuable during the summer semester, and is now a lead teacher at Little Arrows. Noah and Shawn work together to coordinate lesson plans, teach students, and bring “fun” to all! The youth have loved having “Mr. Noah” on board and he is continuing his education to obtain a master’s degree to contribute to the overall success of the program.
Virtual Education Instructor
Melanie is a CIT-ED Citizen, and is our Virtual Education Instructor. She is also the Chief’s granddaughter. She has primarily been with our virtual youth keeping them on task, assisting with the one on one educational needs, and contributing to their successful school programs. Melanie supports Little Arrows as needed, and is also continuing her education to contribute to the overall success of the program.
Larsen is a member of the Chickahominy Tribe and the daughter of Shawn and Shane Stewart. Larsen brings energy and fun to the childcare program as a childcare assistant. Larsen is continuing her education at this time as well, and has been a pleasure to have on board with CIT-ED.
Brittany came on board with CIT-ED 4 months ago and has been a wonderful addition to our team. Brittany has years of childcare experience and operated a child care center within her home for 2 years. She has a 3 year old daughter, Grace who also attends Little Arrow’s.
Ms. Mikaela has been working in childcare for the past two years. She has had many trainings pertaining to teaching such as: Milestones of Child Development, Quality of Feedback for Learners with Diverse Needs, Helping Children Achieve Behavioral Success, Daily Health Observations, Classroom Management Strategies- Connecting Children to Their Purpose, Communicating with Children, Foundations of Child Development for Child Care Center Teachers, Maintaining Health and Safety Practices in Early Childhood Year 2, Virginia Preservice Training for Child Care Staff, Playground Supervision and Early Learning & Development Standards. She is also First Aid and CPR certified. Mikaela is looking forward to being a valuable team member for Little Arrows now and in the future.