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Native Spirit: New Head Start center will help kids in need

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FORT TOTTEN, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A new place for little ones in need is set to open this fall, but managers are still figuring out how they're going to pay for it.

Over 180 children will soon be able to learn at the site of the new Head Start facility on the Spirit Lake Reservation.

Tribe members say it's a much need improvement over the buildings they're using today.

Teacher and Mom Bethany Narveson is prepping her room for the last time.

Narveson: "We're all spread out. Our classrooms are all spread out. And it's hard."

A handful of portable classrooms is all the tribe has ever had for their Head Start program.

Cynthia Lindquist, Candeska Cikana Community College: "To give children the opportunity that might not be there for a variety of reasons be it economic, social, whatever."

But a solution is just down the road. A new building will consolidate all the kids and services into a new space, elevating the level of teaching and opportunities for kids.

Lindquist: “To really make sure that all the little ones have a chance to thrive, to be happy and to prosper.”

But, it comes with a hefty price tag.

Lindquist: "A little over $8.4 million."

The Head Start program's managers are finding ways to pay for it. About $750,000 is still needed.

Lindquist: "We're still short, so if anybody wins the Powerball this week…"

To pay for features like playground equipment and road paving, hoping that one day these tykes will continue the traditions and culture of their people.