by Alaska Native Knowledge Network - Friday, 16 October 2009, 12:48 pm
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Early Learning Activity Guides Now Available in Yup'ik Fun, culturally
relevant activities to help build babies' brains
Guides describing activities that help build babies' and young children's
brains are now available in Yup'ik. Copies of Mikelnguut Ayagmek
Elluarrluki Anglivkallrat are available free of charge from Best
Beginnings, (907) 297-3300 or
The activity guides contain fun, culturally relevant activities to help
babies' brains grow in ways that will help them succeed in school and in
life. There are three guides: infant (birth to 18 months), toddler (18
months to 3 years), and preschooler (ages 3 to 5).
Activities for the Yup'ik version were reviewed by Yup'ik educators from
RuralCAP for cultural relevance, with many new activities added and others
modified or exchanged. All translations were done by Marie Meade, a Yup'ik
translator originally from Nunapitchuk, who now lives in Anchorage.
The guides were funded by grants from the Alaska Children's Trust and the
Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, with additional
support from BP and ConocoPhillips Alaska.
All activities described in the books are based on the State of Alaska's
Early Learning Guidelines, developed by the Alaska Department of Education
& Early Development and the Alaska Department of Health and Social
Services. Last year, Best Beginnings published activity books in Spanish,
and an English version came out earlier this year.
The guides are designed to assist parents, and other adults who work with
babies and young children, in understanding child development and offering
fun activities that encourage healthy brain development.
Research shows that children's brains develop at an incredible rate from
birth to age 6 and that the type of learning which takes place in the
early years has a profound effect on how children fare later in life.
Suggested activities in multiple languages are posted regularly on Best
Beginnings' Web site (http://www.BestBeginningsAlaska.org).
Note to reporters/editors: An interesting feature of the translation work
by Ms. Meade was an epiphany she had regarding the correct Yup'ik word to
use for "activity." While she had been using a word meaning "making your
child well," she realized the best word was actually one about "engaging
She was so thrilled with this realization that she went back and changed
all the appropriate references in the previous book. Translation is an
art, not a science, and the fact that Ms. Meade found the perfect word to
resonate with her readers - one that will capture exactly what we hope
these books will inspire - is testament to the skill and care required for
high quality translation.
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