Despite snow and slushy weather yesterday here in Chamberlain, South Dakota, ten FAST (Families and Schools Together) families made it here for the last day of our spring session and for the graduation ceremony. Our Chalk Hills Singers led the procession with a drum song, and the families were proud to pose together for a family photo as each received their certificates. While I’ve observed the ceremony many times, I’m reminded of how much it means anew to our families who participate. Through this program they can take part is quality activities, celebrate times of togetherness and receive positive recognition as a family.
Donors from the East Coast who have supported St. Joseph’s Indian School for over ten years were passing through and dropped by unexpectedly. They wanted to see the our campus for the first time before giving me 4 boxes of chocolates to share with the kids and a check almost large enough to cover half a houseparent’s annual salary. I am amazed at the generosity that comes seemingly out of the blue – which always causes me to rededicate myself to building strong programs for our students. We visited a couple of homes and had the students give us a lively tour. Then our guests hit the road for their next leg of their journey.