KeepCHA – Keeping Curiosity and Hope Alive for Children 0-5 and their Families

KeepCHA – Keeping Curiosity and Hope Alive for Children 0-5 and their Families


Dr. Castillo created PARGE which stands for Prepare, Admit, Retain, Graduate, and Employ to offer assistance and college scholarships to Native Americans to provide a pathway out of poverty. He has seen the impact as graduates return to their communities to provide services and opportunities to others. He has also seen students struggle to meet the rigorous academic standards of college and the challenges of the job market and, as a result, has been studying the First Five movement in California, Cradle to Career in Ohio, and similar programs elsewhere. The goal of the work proposed here is to expand the PARGE program to focus on the first 5 years of a child’s life as a critical time of Preparation for education and to provide Scholarships and then Employment opportunities for early childhood educators in their Native American communities of origin. This new program called KeepCHA for Keeping Curiosity and Hopes Alive utilizes “culturally competent” educational 0 – 5 programs that target parents and the youngest in the Native American community to create a legacy of hope for future generations. Without hope, young Native Americans will continue to be afflicted with the highest high school dropout rate and the highest suicide rate of any ethnic group in the United States. The suicide rate among Native Americans across the nation ages 15 to 34 is twice the national average and 3 out of 10 drop out of high school before graduating both in cities and on reservations. With the elements of Exposure and Encouragement in place, children still need Educational Opportunities and Experiences to keep Curiosity and Hope alive. KeepCHA in collaboration with Walking Shield’s College Scholarship Program is working to provide opportunities for higher education and to train early childhood educators and others to bring their passion and energy back to their communities to sustainably fuel hope and opportunity for a better future.

For more information about this program please visit THIS PAGE for downloadable resources.

Status of Native People During the Covid-19 Pandemic

We are continuing to respond to the impact of COVID-19 around the world. See our status of Native People During the Covid-19 Pandemic.