CNF releases Cherokee language audio books
9/21/2012 8:34:51 AM
 
The Cherokee Nation Foundation, in partnership with Cherokee Media Ltd., has produced three books written in the Cherokee language accompanied by audio so children can listen to the story while they read. The two books shown are “The Three Bears” and “The Little Red Hen.” TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The Cherokee Nation Foundation, in partnership with Cherokee Media Ltd., has produced three books written in the Cherokee language accompanied by audio so children can listen to the story while they read. The two books shown are “The Three Bears” and “The Little Red Hen.” TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BY TESINA JACKSON Reporter TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – In 2008, the Cherokee Nation Foundation, in partnership with Cherokee Media Ltd., produced three books written in the Cherokee language and accompanied by audio so children can listen to the story while they read. “The books are traditional stories including ‘The Three Bears,’ ‘The Little Red Hen’ and ‘Origins of Oak Leafs,’” CNF Executive Director Kimberlie Gilliland said. “Using these well-known story books allowed us to engage the readers with the Cherokee language, while giving them comfort in stories they are already familiar with.” Cherokee Nation citizens Ray D. Ketter and Wynema Smith wrote the books while Andrew Sikora, director at Cherokee Media, produced audio recordings, which feature Smith’s voice. Noksi Press originally printed the books in 2008, and in July 2012, the CNF secured funding necessary to include the audio element and reprint in larger quantities for mass distribution. “The books were created to help with Cherokee language literacy and fluency,” Gilliland said. “The audio element is the best possible way to address common difficulties in the annunciation of the Cherokee language.” So far, the audio kits have been distributed to 16 students at the Cherokee Language Immersion School and a few at-large California Cherokee community groups. CNF officials hope to expand the project by donating 500 audio kits to local libraries and schools within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction in November in honor of Native American history month. Each kit would include the three print books accompanied by its audio. “We do plan on having the kits available for purchase through the Cherokee Nation Gift Shop near the end of the year for the holiday season,” Gilliland said. All proceeds from the books will go to the advancement of the audio book initiative and fund the creation and distribution of additional books. The project was funded through private donation to the CNF.

tesina-jackson@cherokee.org

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