Each year, we host an open house and invite our teachers, mentors and other staff that work with our kids to come over and have some Christmas goodies. This is a great chance for the girls to show off their home and use their social skills and manners in a larger setting.
We just completed our fourth and fifth grade basketball season and the girls went out with a victory in their last game at a tournament in town. This was such a fun bunch to spend time with! It was great to be able to watch the different skills we try to coach begin to appear in the games. At this age, we spend a majority of our time in practice working on basic skills and how to play the game properly from dribbling the basketball, to sportsmanship on and off the court.
The girls also had the opportunity today to go through the Christmas store and pick out gifts for their families. After that, they went to see Santa, wrap their presents and enjoy some treats.
We have also continued our walking program with the girls. We are happy to announce that we are currently at a total of 10,789 laps in the gym, which is a little over 500 miles!
From the William Home, may you all have a very Merry Christmas and all your travels be safe!
Hey everyone, this is Mike and April from the Carola Home.
This time of year our boys are balancing school and athletics as well as preparing to go home for the holidays. This can be an overwhelming time for all the boys, but especially the freshman.
Freshmen have already been adjusting to new houseparents, new school, new curriculum and new friends. Our four Juniors have had a couple of years to learn what works for them to succeed in all areas. However, our three Freshmen still have a lot to learn and this is usually the hardest time of their high school years.
Thankfully, our Juniors have taken our Freshmen under their wings and given them advice on how to deal with homework – number one being do not get behind with missing assignments – classes and teachers, where to go and who you may have to be extra nice to. 🙂 And of course advice on their houseparents – don’t try that, they won’t let you get away with this, handle your business and they won’t make it theirs.
Each student has their own ways to succeed and all seven of our boys are doing just that, succeeding. With all that high school life brings to offer our boys, they are doing an amazing job keeping up with it all.
St. Joseph’s gives the boys a lot of support with the learning center, which is run by our High School Academic Advisor, Steve. Steve works with Chamberlain High School to help them with their homework. Our Transitional Specialist, Pam, helps our Juniors with upcoming college trips and helps them plan for the future after St. Joseph’s.
Basketball season has started with Errol, Cody, William and Kyle playing for the Chamberlain Cubs. Our home will be attending many games in the next couple of months to support their fellow classmates.
Shawn is involved in CHS’s Wrestling Team. We also have one student Dean, who has been actively preparing for the past several weeks to attend LNI (the Lakota Nation Invitational), to participate in the Knowledge Bowl Competition. Trey, one of our Freshmen, is not in any sports. He thought it would be best to give all his focus on his schoolwork, so he can continue his streak of no missing assignments and A honor roll.
Hello friends! I hope today finds you all doing well! My name is Julie H. and I am a Family Service Counselor at St. Joseph’s Indian School. Things here are St. Joseph’s are going well!
This week we celebrated Red Ribbon Week and the kids were able to take part in lots of fun activities! There were activities such as inflatables, ice cream sundaes, relays and theme days. The kids always enjoy celebrating Red Ribbon Week!
The next celebration we are looking forward to is Halloween. The kids are all gearing up for the fun and planning their costumes. The students are able to trick-or-treat on St. Joseph’s Indian School’s campus and then we have a Halloween costume contest. The students always enjoy this time of year!
Our 6-8 grade boys just finished up their football season and the 6-8 grade girls just finished up volleyball. Now, the girls are gearing up for basketball and have started their practices. Their first game is November 5 and they are very excited. The 4th and 5th grade girls have also started basketball practice. Basketball season is a favorite time of the year for both our boys and girls. They enjoy the sport immensely, work hard, and show great sportsmanship. It will be fun to watch them play!
As the weather grows cooler, we are also starting to get ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. What a wonderful time of year for our Lakota students! It is always a joy to be able to celebrate these holidays with the students! The students get a nice break for both holidays so they can return home and spend time with their families.
Another great thing happening today is FAST (Families and Schools Together) graduation. This program brings families to campus to spend quality time with their children. The program consists of a meal, family oriented activities, a time for parents to meet together and talk, and time for parents to just have fun with their children. We have graduated over 100 families from this program. Tonight we graduate seven more families! This is a great time for the families to come and spend time with their kids and for the staff who work with the students to get a chance to know families a little better as well.
As always, I thank you all for your generous donations of prayer and financial assistance! Without your help, we could not do the great work we do! May God’s blessings be poured out on each and every one of you!
Greetings everyone from Mike and the William Home (4th and 5th grade girls)!
This is my tenth year working in the William Home and it is hard to believe that we are finishing up the first quarter of school this week. As always, St. Joseph’s Indian School’s powwow was very enjoyable and our Lakota kids love showing off their homes, campus and dancing.
The girls are now getting excited for the start of basketball season. We signed up October 18 and our first game is November 5!
If you have followed the William Home activities from last year, you may recall that we set a goal to walk 500 miles (10,00 laps in the gym) as a group. Well, this year the girls have a new plan. We have worked to find the mileage to all the girls’ hometowns and have set up a map to track our walking. Our tour is set to take us 760 miles or 15,200 laps around the gym. So far, we have made it to Fort Thompson and Lower Brule and are headed to Winner, South Dakota next.
Thank you for all you do to help the children of St. Joseph’s, and we will keep you updated on where the William Home is on our walk!
I have the privilege to share with you what has been happening here at St. Joseph’s over this past weekend since Fr. Steve, several of our Native American students and some of our staff have been on a donor luncheon in the Napa Valley area of California.
From the students’ point of view, the biggest thing on campus is the start of the boys’ basketball and the girls’ intercity basketball seasons. The boys kicked off the season against Lyman here at the rec center and St. Joseph’s came out victorious with the 7th and 8th grade teams, but our 6th graders came up a few points short. The 7th & 8th grade teams also had the honor of being invited to attend a recent Chamberlain High School (CHS) basketball game, on which several St. Joseph students are playing, and sit behind the varsity bench and visit the locker room. This came about since the CHS team had been able to use our gym to do some practicing and the coach came up with this as a way of saying thanks. The girls’ intercity began this past Sunday with young ladies from the Chamberlain, South Dakota area joining with 6th, 7th and 8th grade students here at St. Joseph’s Indian School. They are divided up into four teams. Their season will run through the start of March. You may recall that when the boys had their season they had a special five-minute quarter for those who were 6th graders so they had the chance to play a bit; but the girls are trying out a different wrinkle in that each player has to play in each quarter. The coaches are trying to sub so that each plays about 3 minutes per quarter. The purpose of the intercity is to give the young ladies a chance to get to know each other so that when they meet up in high school they will already know something about the new classmates.
Another sports activity, geared to give our students something to do during the months that there should be snow outside, is our bowling program. Again this is offered to the students in the upper grades on Saturday afternoons with staff serving as team captains and coaches. The students enjoy it since there are quarters to be won for strikes and picking up the various splits that occur. The local alley also offers a choice of free drink or nachos if one of the participants gets a strike when a special pin is the head pin. To keep things on an even keel, each bowler has a handicap so that extra pins are given to make it as even as possible at the start.
The weather finally turned a bit winter-like. We received some snow and cold temperatures mid-week which allowed the students to hit the slopes and try out their sleds and ski boards received when they opened their ‘Christmas gifts.’ They enjoyed being out of the homes going up and down the hills. The joy they experienced reminds me to again say,
‘Pilamaya – thank you’ for your generosity towards our students.
It was amazing how generous you were and how excited the students were to be pulling apart paper and ribbons to see what else “Santa” brought them. Fr. Steve and I enjoyed having the chance to go to the various homes on campus to see the excitement.
However, the change in weather also brought some tragedy to the local Chamberlain community. Since we have had such a mild winter, the arrival of snow and ice did cause a few accidents. One especially, touched many here in Chamberlain as the pastor of the local United Church of Christ, Rev. Gregg King, was killed as he and his wife were taking their daughter to the airport in Sioux Falls. He lost control, crossed the meridian and hit an on-coming vehicle. Several of our staff are members of that local Faith community. We ask that you keep Reverend King in your prayers.
The new Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, the Most Rev. Robert Gruss, is scheduled to take place next week. He has just recently been installed as Bishop. The Diocese of Rapid City covers all the state of South Dakota west of the Missouri River. As many of our students come from West River areas, Bishop Gruss is their shepherd.
May the Great Spirit continue to bless and reward you for your generosity towards St. Joseph’s. I hope each of you have a great day and that your new year is offer to a wonderful start. Am happy to have had this chance to share with you some of what is happening here on campus. Looking forward to the next time I can share with you.