When a Pillow Means so Much More

To send the perfect message to someone you love, all you need is a pillowcase and a pen.

Sometimes a few words can send a big message.

When parents and guardians drop their children off at St. Joseph’s Indian School at the start of every school year, we have pillowcases and pens ready.

Pillowcases and pens? Seems like a strange combination, right? Continue reading “When a Pillow Means so Much More”

There’s a Talking Shark in the Library!

Claire, the librarian, will unleash Bruce from the cabinet now and again so he can get some fresh air and read some cool books … about SHARKS!

There’s a well-versed subject living in the library. His name is Bruce. Bruce spends his day in quarantine, but remains busy writing the third grade class at St. Joseph’s Indian School many, many letters. It’s quite amazing, actually, given the fact that Bruce doesn’t have any fingers …

He has fins … and a tail … and 300 pearly white teeth … Continue reading “There’s a Talking Shark in the Library!”

The Buffalo: Sacrificing Itself for the Benefit of Others

The colorful sunrise over Chamberlain, S.D., on the morning of the buffalo harvest.

The sun was still asleep when St. Joseph’s Indian School students and staff rose on a chilly November morning. The grass was covered in frosted crystals, and breath from the group exhaled as clouds into the cool autumn air.

They had all risen early for one special purpose: for it was the day of the buffalo harvest. Continue reading “The Buffalo: Sacrificing Itself for the Benefit of Others”

St. Joseph’s 2020 Year in Review

2020 was the year of the “new normal.”

Despite the muddy circumstances 2020 brought upon the world, you helped bring so much joy to approximately 200 Lakota (Sioux) boys and girls. Surely we faced challenges, but so many other successes took place.

Take a look as we highlight some of the great things you helped make possible at St. Joseph’s Indian School during 2020 … Continue reading “St. Joseph’s 2020 Year in Review”

Finding Resilience during Troubling Times

St. Joseph’s Indian School nurses wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) while preparing supplies for student returns on December 28.

“I’m scared my grandma is going to die,” a young boy tells his St. Joseph’s Indian School counselor.

It’s a sentence spoken by too many students at our school. While this boy worries about his grandmother, another is anxious about his mother, her father, her aunts, uncles and cousins. Continue reading “Finding Resilience during Troubling Times”

‘The season of thankfulness supersedes a single holiday’

Students take time to write what they are thankful for and tape the leaves to the tree as part of an exercise to focus on the things they are grateful for this season.

The following is a guest blog written by Erin, a St. Joseph’s Indian School Family Service Counselor.

As the leaves begin to change and then blow away in the bitter winds of fall, people start to decorate for Thanksgiving and prepare to celebrate all that they are thankful for. This Thanksgiving may look very different for many families as travel restrictions, quarantines and COVID-19 precautions hinder many from gathering in the traditional sense. Continue reading “‘The season of thankfulness supersedes a single holiday’”

The Motivated, the Dedicated: St. Joseph’s Alum Proves Hard Work Goes a Long Way

If you were to call someone on the phone, the most common response you’d expect to hear upon their answer is, “Hello, this is [insert name].”

But Jacob Lacota is not your typical 22-year-old. He answers the phone a bit differently … Continue reading “The Motivated, the Dedicated: St. Joseph’s Alum Proves Hard Work Goes a Long Way”

Showing People We Care, Even from a Distance

Helping others feel joy during this uncertain time, brings joy in return to our students. Their cheery pictures brightened the day of 60 nursing home residents.

As one of our Family Service Counselors, Nicole, puts it: one of the hardest things about the pandemic is not being able to keep in touch with those you love. At least not as much, or in the same way, as you might have done before. Continue reading “Showing People We Care, Even from a Distance”

Logging on: How St. Joseph’s is Managing Distance Learning

You live and you learn — that’s how the saying goes. But what happens when you’re actually expected to live and learn in the same square footage every day? What sort of challenges does that present? Continue reading “Logging on: How St. Joseph’s is Managing Distance Learning”

Unsuspecting Woman Finds Message in a Bottle Written on St. Joseph’s Notepad Paper

Mother-daughter-pair Stephanie (back) and Lauren (front) enjoy kayaking excursions together. They never suspected that one such trip would lead to them finding something they’ll forever cherish.

“It’s a beautiful day today,” said Lauren Corbin. “Let’s go out on the water. I promise we’ll take it slow.”

Stephanie Corbin hesitated at her daughter’s words. She hadn’t been kayaking in years. After her diagnosis with breast cancer, a double mastectomy and the peaks and valleys of her healing process, she hadn’t had the strength. She hadn’t felt brave enough … she had been too sick to do one of the things she loved so much.

But, that changed on October 3, 2020. A feeling inside her told her to try. Continue reading “Unsuspecting Woman Finds Message in a Bottle Written on St. Joseph’s Notepad Paper”