Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School,
WHEW!!! The Chamberlain area escaped being the bullseye of a predicted snow storm—we were looking at cold temperatures and 6-10 inches of snow—but what we received was milder than expected. Several area schools released early, basketball games were cancelled and others worried about being able to get to Sioux Falls on Saturday for the state wrestling tournament, but luckily we were spared.
Recently, ‘Flat Francis’ was borrowed by Rachael and the girls of Stevens and Mathias Homes so he could be part of a prank they pulled on the boys of Rooney and Speyer Homes. Continue reading “Excitement at St. Joseph’s!”
My Saturday was a quiet one in the office with homily preparation, letters and odds and ends. I did take a few breaks to go stroll around St. Joseph’s Indian School’s campus, for it is mostly a fun and relaxing day for our Lakota students. The bowling league was again in action at the alley, and our 1st – 3rd graders who are learning to wrestle practiced at the high school. Archery has begun again, and I watched the veterans from last year try to shake some of the rust off their aim. We also had eight more new students sign up so they can learn how to use bow and arrow!
One academic program though, is run by our high school support staff. “Saturday school” is required for students who have missing assignments, need tutoring or encouragement. Because the public school has a long weekend, many of our high school students took advantage and got checked out to spend some days at home. Pam only had one student to tutor this morning. But it did give her time to prepare information for summer camps and educational opportunities that she will also encourage the students to participate in.
When I came to the office today, I had this note from Mike, our Director of Child Services waiting for me. Since he speaks of lots that’s going on around campus, I thought I’d share this with you.
20 Minutes at the Rec Center
On Saturday morning, I happened to find myself in one of those unique but fun 20 minutes in our rec center. As I was winding down my workout, a houseparent came into the workout room with one of the boys from his home. He was working with the student teaching him to properly lift weights. It was nice to see the mentoring going on and the student following the houseparent’s lead.
As I finished, I left the workout room, only to find that the Ambrose Home’s students waiting rambunctious to go to wresting practice. We have not had a wrestling program in a few years and it was their first practice. The kids and houseparents were waiting at the front door of the rec center as mini-buses moved around outside to pick up the students. The boys looked eager to get going to Chamberlain’s wrestling room, as we do not have a mat yet for our wresting program.
I then wandered back into the rec center gym where two houseparent we setting up and Archery course for the students. Today was the first day of training our students about how to safely shoot a bow and arrow. The staff, who recently went to be certified in archery training, were eagerly awaiting the student’s arrival. In talking with the staff, you could tell they were excited.
As I left the gym, I noticed two student reading books. Apparently these students were in trouble, and reading was part of their discipline. I asked what they were reading and one boy showed me the book Prince of Egypt. I told him he could give me an oral book report sometime. Both boys were also watching the archery range being set up with great interest. If this was discipline, they appeared to be having a good time.
As I was leaving the facility, the second of two rec center staff showed up. They we looking forward to a busy morning followed by an afternoon of bowling. As I exited the rec center building, the snow was falling heavily and piling up. It was surreal as I thought of all that was going on at the rec center and across campus on this cold and snowy, January day. It also made me thankful for the fact that we are fortunate in what we provide for our students.