Hello! My name is LaRayne. I teach Native American Studies alongside my co-teacher, Allen.
I want to take a minute to tell you all about our recent language challenges!
We had two Lakota/Dakota language challenges during the month of February. They were both fun, rewarding and confidence-building for all the students involved.
We had rendezvous challenges with the reservation school that borders our community, Crow Creek Elementary. We traveled there once, and they visited us once. Teachers from each school worked together to prepare the students in specific areas of food, family, days of the week, seasons, numbers, colors, school terms, animals and stages of life.
Each school came up with two questions from each category and the students went to work studying.
Both challenge meetings came down to the wire, and we had to use a tie-breaker question at the end to decide the winner. It was a split on wins. We won at home, and they also won on their own turf!
Not only did we meet and make new friendships, but also we saw a significant amount of growth in confidence in our kids.
Putting your knowledge of a new language to the test is difficult, even for adults, so watching our kids compete was a very rewarding experience!
To add to the fun, we also competed in hand games. Again, we split wins with our Crow Creek friends.
After shaking hands and taking a group photo, our challengers joined our kids for the singing of the Lakota flag song before a basketball game that pitted the 4th grade boys from each school against each other.
In the basketball game, St. Joseph’s was short when the final buzzer sounded. However, we were all winners on this day as we chose to think of it as a day of reconciliation and friendship between a great bunch of new Lakota/Dakota speakers.