Representative Sandra Blake introduced several guest speakers at the District I community meeting on September 11: Commissioner of Education Joycelyn Shingobe, Nay Ah Shing Interim Principal Byron Ninham, Aanjibimaadizing Interim Director Tammy Wickstrom, and Wraparound Program Director Tammy Moreland.
Joycelyn introduced Byron and Tammy Wickstrom, who were there to update members on changes to the Niigaan and Wiidoo programs. Byron, formerly the director of Niigaan, said the Niigaan after-school program will now serve students from kindergarten through sixth grade, while the Wiidoo program, under the new name Ge-niigaanizijig, will provide opportunities for students 12 years of age and up.
Tammy Wickstrom explained that there was overlap between the two programs and some duplication of services, so it made sense to make the change.
Niigaan will continue to operate under the Department of Education and Ge-niigaanizijig under the Department of Ad- ministration, which oversees Aanjibimaadizing.
Joycelyn also announced that Nay Ah Shing will launch an after-school Alternative Learning Center that will offer credit recovery to students up to 20 years old who left school before receiving their diplomas.
Tammy Moreland talked about the Wraparound Program in general, but especially the transitional housing development on Ookwemin Loop. She said three units are occupied and four more set to be occupied in coming weeks.
In order to live in the neighborhood, which is a sober supportive housing community, a person or family needs to work with Wraparound for at least 90 days, developing a case plan and consistently meeting with a facilitator. Residents need to demonstrate that they’ve achieved six months of sobriety.
The housing is meant to be temporary and transitional for up to two years. During that time, the Wraparound team works with residents to find permanent housing.
Tammy Moreland also clarified that Wraparound ”is not a bill-paying service.” Financial assistance may be available to those who are in the program, but that requires opening a plan and continuing to work with Wraparound to accomplish goals.