DURANT – Mike and Bernie Davis grew up speaking the Choctaw language in McCurtain County.
“That’s probably the highest concentration of fluent speakers, especially up around Bethel,” Mike said.
Teaching the Choctaw language is now a passion for them.
“That is who we are looking for,” said Mike. “Those people who have a passion for learning the language.”
The Davises are both retired teachers with Broken Bow Public Schools. They moved to Durant in 2006 to join the School of Choctaw Language team. The school now is staffed with 14 fluent instructors. Their newest class begins Sept. 12, 2016, at the School of Choctaw Language Building, 3588 Tom Smith Rd., located just off of Enterprise Boulevard, in Durant.
The course is Conversational Level Choctaw. It meets Mondays 6-8 p.m. for 16 weeks. It is free, learning materials are free, it is open to anyone interested in speaking Choctaw – and it is not for beginners.
“You need to have a working knowledge of the basics,” Mike said.
But there is an offering for those starting from scratch.
Beginning Choctaw starts Sept. 13 and will run Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m., also in the Language Building.
“Ann Kaniatobe teaches that,” Bernie said. “It runs for 16 weeks also. That is the first semester.”
Both courses will pick up after the New Year with the second half, 16 weeks in length.
“Beginning Choctaw is taught in phases,” Bernie said. After learning those first four stages, she added, you should be ready for Conversational Choctaw.
They have fun, and everyone contributes in the immersion course, as evidenced by the laughter, exchanges, and encouragement across the table.
“We start with about 20 in the class,” said Mike, adding that students can join the course late and maybe miss a meeting, but adequate attendance and participation are required to receive a certificate of course completion.
To register or for more information, phone 580-924-8280 Ext. 2487, or 800-522-6170.
Ground Breaking Ceremony for the New Head Start in Wright City
We would like to invite you to a Ground Breaking Ceremony for the new Head Start facility in Wright City. The event is 10:00 a.m. Thursday, September 15 at 5704 Rodeo Grounds Road in Wright City.
We hope you can join us as we celebrate the progress in McCurtain County.
What: Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Head Start
When: 10 a.m. Thursday, September 15, 2016
Where: 5704 Rodeo Grounds Road, adjacent to the Choctaw Community Center, Wright City, Oklahoma 74745.
About the Facility: The Wright City Head Start will be a 7,352 sq. ft. Two-Classroom facility. The classrooms will accommodate a total 34 students, and include technology-forward features such as high-definition SmartBoards, full-height windows for daylighting and nature views, automatic LED lighting, and energy efficient HVAC.
The facility will house an FEMA-compliant Safe Room for students and staff, a full commercial kitchen, parent resource room, and have all new playground equipment.
Also, the existing walking track will be improved and reconfigured to accommodate the Head Start program.