ABOUT THE UTE INDIAN TRIBE HEAD START

 

The Ute Indian Tribe Head Start program has been serving children since 1966. It was one of the original Head Starts in the nation. Old Timers claim that the designers of Head Start came to the reservation to see how the Ute's operated their child care organization and used that example to model the Head Start programs.

       The program currently employees 25 Teachers, 3 Home Visitors, 8 Cooks, 7 Bus Drivers, 7 Family Advocates, 1 Resource Room Attendant, 5 Site Coordinators, and 9 Office Staff. Each day on average 183 children board a bus for transit to a center with the buses averaging nearly 975 miles per day and averaging over 2200 gallons of fuel per month. Each day on average of 192 children receive a hot nutritious Breakfast, and Lunch. The program uses in excess of 4000 gallons of milk each school year. The annual budget is $1,687,760.

      The service area for Ute Indian Tribe Head Start is defined as all lands within the original exterior boundaries of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation Because past and present resources could not adequately serve this entire area (which is comprised of more than four million acres of land), we have restricted our recruitment area to provide the greatest number of eligible children with the opportunity to participate in the Ute Indian Tribe Head Start. Within the boundaries of the Reservation, our recruitment area extends from Whiterocks (to the north) to Ouray (to the south) and from LaPoint (to the east) to Duchesne (to the west).

      Children from LaPoint, Tridell, and Whiterocks attend Head Start at a center located in Whiterocks. Children from Neola and the surrounding community attend Head Start at the Neola Elementary school.  Children from Ouray, Independence and Randlett attend Head Start at a center located in Randlett. Children from Ioka, Myton, Bridgeland, Altamont and Arcadia attend Head Start at a center located in Myton. Children from the west side of Roosevelt attend Head Start at the Roosevelt Middle school. Children from Fort Duchesne, Roosevelt, Ballard, Indian Bench and Gusher attend Head Start at two centers located in Fort Duchesne.  The program also serves 30 children in its Home Base option covering the remainder of Duchesne and Uintah Counties.

      The program continues to grow stronger and is fast becoming a model in the Head Start community.  The Programs Fatherhood Initiative (the F.I.R.E.mens Brigade) has been showcased both regionally and nationally for its success in involving men in the lives of their children.  The program is stepping out in its effort to bring about a healthier life style change for the children and families in the communities by adopting a no sugar policy.  Through health education the program hopes to influence this generation and the next about the serious nature of obesity and diabetes.  The future is looking bright as the program moves forward with new ideas and new efforts to teach our children the value of being true to their heritage and being true to themselves.