Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, and First Lady Phefelia Nez
at the Navajo Nation Head Start Day celebration on August 15, 2019 in Window Rock, Ariz.
Published August 16, 2019
WINDOW ROCK — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and First Lady Phefelia Nez along with Vice President Myron Lizer, and members of the 24thNavajo Nation Council joined Navajo Head Start students and employees on Thursday, as they issued a proclamation to recognize Aug. 15, 2019 as “Navajo Head Start Day” in support of the Head Start Program’s services to Diné children in Early Head Start and the Head Start Programs. Council Delegates Eugenia Charles Newton, Council Delegate Pernell Halona, and Navajo Nation Board of Education Vice President Priscilla B. Manuelito were also present for the special occasion.
Navajo Head Start is tasked with promoting school readiness of low-income children by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development in a learning environment that supports our children’s growth and also to provide encourage and to stimulate intellectual and social growth opportunities, and to promotes Navajo language and culture.
President Nez extended his gratitude to the many parents and grandparents who were also in attendance to support the students and program, as well as the teachers and aides for their hard work and dedication.
“Our children are the key to our future as Diné people. They are our most precious resource, so I extend my appreciation to all of the Head Start employees, teachers, administrators, and most importantly to the parents and elders who help nurture our children,” said President Nez.
Vice President Lizer also spoke in support of Navajo youth as he, President Nez, and First Lady Nez visited with the students and parents at the Head Start central office.
During the event, President Nez also signed Navajo Nation Council resolution CJY-28-19, allowing the Navajo Nation Head Start Program to use supplemental funds, previously appropriated, to pay past due bills and other debts. The legislation was approved by the 24thNavajo Nation Council by a vote of 18-0.
President Nez and Vice President Lizer called for Navajo Head Start to hold themselves accountable for being fiscally responsible and improving the efficiency of the program, while also offering the support of the Nez-Lizer Administration to continue addressing these issues.
“Enrollment is always a major concern, but we understand that everyone needs to work together to improve the program. We need to be positive and work toward solutions that ultimately benefit the students and teachers in the classrooms,” added President Nez.
Prior to the signing of the proclamation and resolution, the Navajo Head Start students and teacher participated in a school bus parade around the capital of the Navajo Nation, as their parents and loved ones parked along the parade route to support the children.
The Nez-Lizer Administration thanks Navajo Head Start for their continued support and contributions to our Navajo students.