Happy International Day of Yoga!

June 21, 2019 is the International Day of Yoga. Students enjoyed learning yoga at school last year.

Roll out your mats and stretch your limbs – today is the International Day of Yoga!

According to the 2016 Yoga in America Study, the top five reasons people start yoga are: flexibility (61%), stress relief (56%), general fitness (49%), improve overall health (49%) and physical fitness (44%).

It’s those reasons and more why St. Joseph’s Indian School nurse and wellness coach, Ronda, began teaching yoga to students at St. Joseph’s.

This past school year, she taught yoga to grades one through eight for a 40-minute class period. She began class with a little bit of centering. Then she would introduce an activity of yoga poses to the students before ending with rest time to relax and shut their brains off for a little while.

Young students learn numerous yoga poses during their Personal Living Skills class.

Ronda said yoga provides balance, strength and relaxation – especially when students know they have a place that’s all their own during the yoga sessions.

“When you come to class, you’re on a mat and I tell the kids this, ‘That’s your safe place. This area belongs to you’,” said Ronda.

Ronda leads a group of St. Joseph’s Child Services staff in a yoga lesson.

Yoga often gives students a sense of calm. It can help assist the healing process for students who need a break from stressors of their everyday lives. Ronda said it also provides a safe place to deal with any trauma students may have experienced in the past they are presently working through.

Practicing yoga also gives students a break from the hustle and bustle of life, which Ronda says is very important.

“I don’t think anyone practices that enough – just to be still,” she said.

Ronda (in yellow) leads a group of students in a yoga lesson during their Personal Living Skills (PLS) class with PLS teacher, Pam.

Next year, Ronda and Trond, wellness coordinator at St. Joseph’s, are putting a focus on second and grade students and yoga. Similar to a case study experiment, they plan to measure those students’ classroom performance, as well as balance, to see if yoga has any measurable assistance in helping the students excel in other areas.

“The goal is to teach our students to practice balance on their mat, and then take those tools into their everyday lives,” said Ronda.

It’s her hope that students take the lessons they learned during yoga class with them as they grow up.

“I hope they remember one part of it – to remember to take a breath,” she said. “Just to take a breath.”

St. Joseph’s Cultural Trip: Where the Past and Present Collide

St. Joseph’s Indian School seventh grade students embarked on a week-long cultural trip in May.

St. Joseph’s Indian School students embarked on a six day, five night cultural trip in May to visit important and sacred sites of their ancestors. It gave them the opportunity to walk where their ancestors once walked, and pray where they once prayed. Continue reading “St. Joseph’s Cultural Trip: Where the Past and Present Collide”

St. Joseph’s Names Kingfisher as Distinguished Alumnus

Dr. Billie Kingfisher (second from right) stands beside two St. Joseph’s eighth grade graduates and President Mike Tyrell as he accepts the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

St. Joseph’s Indian School is pleased to announce Dr. Billie Kingfisher, Jr. has received the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Continue reading “St. Joseph’s Names Kingfisher as Distinguished Alumnus”

Celebrating ‘Mental Health Awareness Month’ by Fighting for a Future of Change

Therapy to heal from historical trauma and past abuse is available for students on campus at St. Joseph’s Indian School. One such program, is equine therapy.

People’s physical scars are often easily spotted. The visible wounds catch your eye, as if yelling to be noticed. But what about the hidden scars people – especially children – carry with them inside? What about the hurt within their hearts and minds?

Those are more difficult to see … which makes them easier to ignore.

Continue reading “Celebrating ‘Mental Health Awareness Month’ by Fighting for a Future of Change”

Flyin’ High and Crackin’ Crab in B’More

Two students recently visited the city of Baltimore. Here is the view from the Inner Harbor.

It was a trip filled with firsts and one students won’t soon forget!

St. Joseph’s Indian School senior students, Treyah and Listella, recently visited Baltimore to meet and visit with school supporters. It was a time to share about life on South Dakota reservations and about what St. Joseph’s means to them … and also have a little fun … Okay, A LOT of fun! Continue reading “Flyin’ High and Crackin’ Crab in B’More”

Staff Reflection: An Unexpected May Day Memory

Note: The following is a staff reflection written by Frank, our 7th-8th grade Residential Coordinator.

I attended a country school in the middle of nowhere South Dakota. This was my school from kindergarten to eighth grade. All the kids from this small country school were a tight-knit bunch, as were the families. We all belonged to 4-H, played softball in the summer, ice skated on stock ponds in the winter, took field trips during the school year and other childhood adventures. Looking back, those were fun times and I am lucky to have those memories.

Today is May Day – May 1 – and a random memory from my school days surfaced this morning that I am going to share now to illustrate a point later. It came to me quite unexpectedly. Continue reading “Staff Reflection: An Unexpected May Day Memory”

Gone Fishing: SJIS Girls Take Part in Cabela’s School of Fish Clinic

The Cabela’s School of Fish clinic was a big hit with our female students! Pictured here is Jim (right) with most of the St. Joseph’s participants.

As the old saying goes: “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”

But, what happens when you teach a girl to fish? Continue reading “Gone Fishing: SJIS Girls Take Part in Cabela’s School of Fish Clinic”

Crossing State Lines: SJIS Nurses Travel to Mayo Clinic for Childcare Conference

St. Joseph’s Indian School nurses attended a conference to learn about the latest advancement in pediatric care.

Pediatric medicine is ever-changing. To stay on top of the latest advances, St. Joseph’s Indian School nurses recently made a 370-mile trip to the Mayo Clinic, an organization famous for research and medical advancement.

The trip was an opportunity for nurses to learn new and improved ways of caring for patients by attending the T Denny Sanford Pediatric Symposium: The Changing World of Pediatric Medicine 2019. Continue reading “Crossing State Lines: SJIS Nurses Travel to Mayo Clinic for Childcare Conference”

Serving Reservation Communities, One Box at a Time

Robin stands beside St. Joseph’s Indian School’s trailer filled with essentials to help families living in South Dakota reservation communities.

Robin is a beloved St. Joseph’s Indian School employee. She’s known around campus as the woman with the chipper smile and the go-getter personality. Her strong voice commands attention. Her smile and laugh is infectious. She walks from job to job as if she’s on a mission … and she is. Continue reading “Serving Reservation Communities, One Box at a Time”

Senior Students Learn How to ‘Adult’ Before Graduation

Camron, Treyah, Jered, Sarah, Wankiya, Stella and Louie are learning life skills for the future before they graduate!

Seven high school seniors walk into a grocery store …

It’s not the beginning of a joke with a witty punchline. Rather, a real-life scene from a shopping trip our St. Joseph’s Indian School Senior Home recently took. They’ll be graduating from Chamberlain High School soon, and although Continue reading “Senior Students Learn How to ‘Adult’ Before Graduation”