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Jennie Shore named PECS Culture employee of the year

The school recognized Jennie Shore, seated, Jan. 20. Tracy Downing, standing, is the principal of PECS. (Via PECS Facebook)

Tribal member Jennie Shore has been recognized as Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School (PECS) Culture employee of the year. PECS principal Tracy Downing made the announcement on the school’s Facebook page Jan. 20.

Located on the Brighton Reservation, Shore began PECS’ immersion program seven years ago and now serves as its comanager.

“[She had] a vision to create a program designed to preserve the Native traditions, the cultural beliefs, and the Muscogee Creek language by integrating the Seminole language and culture in a classroom setting,” Downing said in the announcement. “It was believed that the language was going to disappear, and this program was created to preserve it.”

PECS’ widely recognized program began in 2015 with the goal of creating Creek speakers from infancy.

“Mrs. Shore and [the tribe’s] elders gave the children every opportunity to grow intellectually, physically, and emotionally – through experimental activities, child-initiated learning experiences (play) and curriculum-based materials,” Downing said in the post. “The children grew up learning the language, and because they were spoken to exclusively in the Muscogee Creek language, they became fluent.”

The school reported that the first group of students in the program are now in the second grade.

“… And they are doing so well in Muscogee Creek and in English thanks to Mrs. Shore and all of the immersion staff,” Downing continued in the post. “Mrs. Shore and the elders, through their tireless efforts, have ensured that the children are thriving and [are] prepared to embark on their educational journey, as both a student and a proud member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.”