The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

Embracing a culture

NICE provides Native students with support, exploration
Walker has been active in NICE since her pre-k years.

NICE (Native Indigenous Centered Education) is a program that gives Native children an opportunity to explore their culture and receive support within their school, according to Cassie Steinmark-Carlisle, former NICE coordinator at South High for the last two years.

I have been involved with NICE since I was in pre-k. The program has pre-k classes made for Native students specifically, and I was in one of the first classes to go through with that piece of the program. I have been involved with the program since, and I am now a junior.

According to Steinmark-Carlisle, NICE was established in the late 1990s for Native American students in OPS to give students an opportunity to explore their culture.

More than 900 students are currently enrolled in NICE from all nine OPS high schools, four middle schools and three elementary schools.

Some of the benefits of being in the program are that Native children have an advocate for them within the school and someone who has the cultural education to be able to help them find further information and to educate teachers and other school staff if needed.

Since being in this program, I have been culturally connected with other students that I would have never talked to without it and creating bonds within the community which is what being Native is all about!

My freshman year I attended Central High School with a student I went to pre-k with. During that year, my friend and I put a display case together in the new addition where we came together with different pieces of jewelry and regalia to show everyone how beautiful our culture is and to thank the NICE program. We were able to express ourselves and our love for our culture in that way.

I have enjoyed all the NICE activities, from experiencing pre-k to looking forward to high school graduation next year.

Editor’s Note: This article contains opinions of the author.

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    Shelly SanchezApr 24, 2024 at 4:28 pm

    I think Kylesse Walker did a great job on her story.

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    Shelly SanchezApr 24, 2024 at 4:26 pm

    I think that is a great program my daughter also attended from pre k till 12 grade it really makes a difference.they also helped with homework I thought that was great.keep the program going it works.