CN group tours Muskogee MLK Center programs
Cherokee National Treasure Tommy Wildcat performs for staff members and after-school program participants at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center on Jan. 31, in Muskogee. A small Cherokee Nation delegation toured the facility. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
MUSKOGEE – On Jan. 31, Cherokee Nation leaders took an informal tour of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.
MLK Community Center Director and Muskogee City Councilor Derrick Reed led Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., Johnson-O’Malley Program Director Mark Vance and Cherokee National Treasure Tommy Wildcat on the tour.
“After Cherokee Nation’s sponsorship on Martin Luther King day, we thought we should get to know each other better,” said Reed. “We feel honored to have them back in the building today. Here at the center, we’re always excited about partnerships. That’s what Dr. Martin Luther King stood for is that we all could come together as brothers and sisters, and I feel like that’s the kind of relationship we’re forming at this time.”
Twelve-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Mayara Sage King has been coming to the MLK center for three years.
“It helps me in ways like when I struggle with math.” said King, “It (the program) gives me the opportunity to get better at it. The teachers who tutor us here, they have a lot of patience. They’re here to help you with your homework but more than that, they’re here to help you.”
Hoskin introduced Cherokee National Treasure and flutist Tommy Wildcat to the dozens of children at the center.
“It’s good to get out of the office and into the communities to see what works and what the challenges are in education. I met a diverse group of teachers and students today and there were Cherokees among both,” said Hoskin. “The program at Muskogee’s MLK Center shows us a model for bridging critical gaps in education, like after school and the summer months. We can use what we learn through community partnerships like this to develop better education strategies for Cherokee Nation.”