Snow in April

The Lakota children enjoyed mild temperatures while playing in the April snow!
An unpredictable South Dakota spring brought lots of snow, but mild temperatures.

As St. Joseph’s Indian School starts to wind down for the year, several factors have come in to play this spring.  It is unbelievable the amount of snow we have received in South Dakota for the month of April!!  St. Joseph’s even missed a day of school due to the weather – that rarely happens since our Lakota students live on campus.  The students truly enjoyed being outside to play in the snow as the temperature was in the low 30’s, which is relatively warm.

St. Joseph’s track team has been diligently practicing, either in the Recreation Center because of snow or outside when the weather is clear. Needless to say, with all the snow, our track meets have been canceled so far.  We are hoping that the next one on Monday will take place as the temperatures are suppose to be in the 70s. Hurrah for the Glorious South Dakota Sunshine!!

Last week, I was involved with the Mr. Relay For Life Pageant that St. Joseph’s Relay For Life hosted at the Oacoma Community Center. The pageant was a spin-off of the Miss American Pageant, but with gentlemen of the community participating as contestants.

It was awesome to see the wonderful turnout from the community to support us in our endeavor to raise money for the fight against cancer! Of course, it really helped that our gentleman were such great sports with their choice of evening wear, talent and interview questions for the night’s competition.  It was an evening enjoyed by many family and community members.

I would like to thank all of St. Joseph’s donors for your support and donations throughout the school year.   You are a blessing to our school and the Native American students.

“Wealth and honor come from you O’Lord; you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.

–Chronicles 29:12–

The Lakota students enjoyed playing in the snow in April!
A mild April day is perfect for making a snow dinosaur!

Time flies when you’re having fun!

I can’t believe March is here already and we have started the fourth quarter at St. Joseph’s Indian School. WOW, time really flies when we are having so much fun!
We had a lot of fun when we celebrated Read Across America Day on March 1.

The Lakota students and Fr. Steve read in the hallway to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
Fr. Steve joined the Lakota children for reading.

The Lakota students loved the time they were able to spend reading to each other and to Fr. Steve in the school hallways. They also enjoyed ice cream treats at the end of the day.

The Lakota students had lots of fun reading to each other.
We had so much fun celebrating Read Across America Day!

Our eighth grade girls were able to miss a day of school last week and attend GEMS (Girls Engineering Math and Science) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They enjoyed not being in school for a day, but the real enjoyment was being able to attend a session on makeup. Imagine that with teenage girls! They also were able to visit other booths related to engineering and science.

Our Native American girls in eighth grade learned about careers in math and science.
Our eighth-grade girls attended GEMS and learned about GIS mapping.

Staff and students are gearing up for St. Joseph’s Spring Break which will start on March 22. We are looking forward to having an educational morning at the Recreation Center doing a Science/Weather program called Tornado Alley, which features a 3D movie! This will be a great start to Spring Break.

When the students return on Easter Monday, they will return to an Easter Egg hunt for the younger students (Grade 1-5) and the older students (Grades 6-8) will have a picnic dinner in the Fisher Home driveway, weather permitting. Considering our weather the past few weekends has been snow and rain, we will hope and pray for better weather on Easter weekend.

The staff would like to thank all of our donors for the help, support and encouragement that our students receive throughout the year.
“Experience Jesus’ presence each moment. Pray as you enter each place, welcoming Christ to touch and to heal. Embrace God and the way God touches your life again and again.”

Guest Blogger: Cindy

Hello and welcome back!  I’m Cindy and I blogged in October about the many things that take place at the beginning of the school year.  I like to think that it is the busiest time of the year but it has not slowed down at all!

We are just returning from Thanksgiving Break (where did the time go?) and the students are starting to look forward to Christmas (and break: hooray!) that will be coming up in a few weeks.

Most of our students were able to go home for the Thanksgiving Break.  The day before Thanksgiving is a chaotic, but fun-filled day.  The student’s guardians all come and pick them up at the school.  The Dining Hall puts on a delicious lunch for them to enjoy.  Many of them have been coming to St Joseph’s for many years and it is fun to catch up on their lives.

We do have a few students that stay on campus during this time.  They are housed in what we refer to as the “break home.”  Their time is filled with fun activities such as shopping, movies and games.

This year, the students and staff who stayed on campus were able to participate in the Thanksgiving dinner at St. James Catholic Church.  This is a wonderful experience to have fellowship and visit with people from the surrounding areas.  It is wonderful that the local people put this on in order to alleviate the loneliness that can be associated with this time of year.

I enjoy this time of year.  As my family is grown, I still enjoy going to sports activities. The connection to my St. Joseph’s family is great as I now watch the St. Joseph’s girls play basketball.  They are a lot of fun and I love to watch them play.  This allows me to interact with the students outside of the school setting.  I really enjoy visiting with the students the next day at school on their accomplishments during the game.

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!

As we are preparing for the Christmas Season, two of our 6/7/8th grade girls homes will be featured in the local Parade of Homes this year.  This is a local event when people decorate their homes and allow the community members to tour them.  This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to connect  with the town of Chamberlain.   The girls are giddy as they are enjoying decorating and getting ready for the tours.  It is the first time that the homes have participated in the “Parade of Homes” showing off their home, their Christmas  decorations, and spirit of the season.

We are also busy educating the students about Christmas during religion and Native American Studies classes.  We celebrate the advent season in the school by having a ceremony every Monday morning.  We try to get the students to realize that there is more to Christmas than just the presents under the tree.

I want to extend Christmas wishes to all our benefactors this Holiday Season.  May your days be very joyful, fun-filled and blessed.  Thank you for all the support you have given to St. Joseph’s throughout the years. 

“Celebrate the feast of Christmas every day, even every moment in the interior temple of your spirit, remaining like a baby in the boson of the heavenly Father, where you will be reborn each moment in the Divine Word, Jesus Christ”—St. Paul of the Cross


Guest Blogger: Cindy K.

Hello, my name is Cindy K. and I work in the school office at St. Joseph’s Indian School.  My day is full of many interesting details, which are never the same two days in a row!  It is always exciting to see what the day will hold. It includes answering the phone, sending students to the health center, doing state reporting, helping staff and I even have to do a little trouble shooting with the copiers when they are jammed or not working.

I have worked at St. Joseph’s Indian School for over 15 years and it has been a thrill for me to get to know the students from year to year.  Especially those that return to visit and tell us (the staff) how much they learned in their time at St. Joseph’s.

I also work with the Residential and Clinical Departments.  This includes helping with admissions during the summer, setting up Service Plan meetings for students, keeping track of incentive cards and other organizational duties.

This year, we have switched to the District Edition of Infinite Campus.  It is a complex but very fact-filled system.  The system is able to show parents and staff when student assignments are due, as well as their grades and attendance.  I’m able to import students from other schools when they start attending school here at St. Joseph’s.  They need to be entered, given a school schedule, and a household name with any brothers or sisters who also attend St. Joseph’s. This year, the report cards will be run from this system.  It will be an exciting time to see how this will all come together at the end of the quarter.

Our powwow was a huge success with many benefactors attending and participating this year.   The weather cooperated and we enjoyed a fun-filled day outside watching the dancers. I would like to thank all of our donors for visiting and supporting St. Joseph’s. It means a lot to our Lakota students and the school.

“He is my refuge and my fortress, My God; in him will I trust”