Youth Gymnastics at St. Joseph’s Indian School

Nearly 40 girls in grades 1-6 recently finished this year’s gymnastics program at St.

Mark, St. Joseph's Rec Center Specialist
Mark, St. Joseph’s Rec Center Specialist

Joseph’s Indian School!

We don’t have any competitions during our season. Instead, we focus on helping the girls have fun while they are being active, learning coordination, body awareness and image, plus persistence and perseverance! After two months of practice I saw lots of improvement and, of course, lots of laughs.

Our gymnastics time concluded with a performance at the Rec Center for the entire community and family members. The girls showcased their skills in tumbling, dance, vault, bar and beam. This was the second

Little by little, the gymnastics program is growing.
Thanks to donated equipment, we were able expand the gymnastics program this year.

year we held a performance for the community. We were very excited to be able to expand the performance this year, thanks to donations of different equipment.

Part of the goal of the program is to prepare the elementary girls to participate in high school gymnastics if they wish.

This week, the girls started a two-week gymnastic

St. Joseph’s gymnastics girls don’t participate in competitions yet, but focus on learning the basics.
St. Joseph’s gymnastics programs is a fun way for the girls to be active and learn body awareness, persistence and perseverance!

camp held by the local high school gymnastics team. I have been working directly with the high school coaches to coordinate programs so St. Joseph’s students get the most benefit possible from the camp. In the future, we hope to provide our students more choices for athletics as they progress through middle and high school.

Thank you for your support of these great opportunities for the Lakota children!

Mark S

Lakota boys hit the basketball court

At St. Joseph’s Indian School, we work to give our Lakota (Sioux) students the same opportunities enjoyed by children in any

St. Joseph’s boys basketball season is in full swing.
St. Joseph’s Braves took on Crow Creek, a school on a nearby Indian reservation.

school. Basketball, volleyball, football and track are a few of the sports teams they can join during the school year.

Our girls’ basketball season wrapped up just before Christmas break. Now, the boys are in full swing and St. Joseph’s Braves have had a busy schedule!

Basketball News from JoeThe seventh and eighth grade boys traveled to Lower Brule, South Dakota, on Tuesday and played two hard fought games. The boys had fun and split the pair.

The seventh grade displayed toughness on defense and won by a score of 43-26.  Joe, Wankiya, Ben and Cameron all played hard on the defensive end.  On offense, Louie, Alan, Jered, Pat and Ben all contributed to our scoring. It should be noted that Louie scored 29 points! A hard effort overall was displayed by Nathaniel and Duran.   

The eighth grade Braves played a hard fought contest but came out on the losing end with a score of 41-30.  Jay and Trenton led our scoring with 7 points each.  Keayton also scored three baskets. 

Opposing teams jump for the ball at St. Joseph’s Indian School.
Team sports teach the Lakota children important leadership and teamwork skills.

Defensively is where these eighth grade Braves excelled.  Ethan and Caden led the defensive attack, which kept us in the game for three quarters. 

We look forward to Thursday and our game against Pierre Indian Learning Center!

Basketball News from BryanThe fourth and fifth grade basketball teams tipped off their 2014 season this past week.  On January 20, both teams were in action against Chamberlain. 

The fourth grade boys came out in their first game very excited and that showed on the floor. They jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.  The defensive effort was great and the boys showed great presence on the offensive side as well as they won 36-4.  All of the boys contributed in the win and they were proud of their first victory. 

The fifth grade boys also took on the Cubs that day.  They played hard against a good Cubs team, but came up on the short end losing 31-20.  The boys all played well and it was a good learning experience for their first game of the year. 

The fifth grade team was back in action Monday night against Lower Brule and got things rolling early.  The boys jumped up by 4 points right away and held that lead all through the game, winning 20-14. 

St. Joseph’s Braves had several nice assists to contribute to their win.
Looking to pass.

On Tuesday, the fourth and fifth grade teams hosted Crow Creek.  It was the second time the fourth grade took the floor. Once again, they came out pumped up and took care of business, taking control from the tip. The Braves showed great teamwork as several nice assists lead to most of our points. They stayed strong to win 29-6. 

The fifth grade boys were up next and came out a little flat.  Some of the shots weren’t falling that normally do, but the boys hung in there and kept shooting. They came to life in the second half, playing much harder and with great confidence.  Crow Creek was just a little too much, however, and the Braves were on the short end of the score, 38-20.

Overall, the boys have showed steady improvement throughout the season.  They all show up to practice excited and ready to learn.  Great attitudes and cooperation have made the season a success so far!

Thanks to you, Native American youth are learning valuable lessons about leadership, teamwork and healthy lifestyles. Wopila tankamany thanks – for your support!

It’s always busy at the REC Center

St. Joseph’s REC Center is always a busy place during the school year and especially during the winter months. Andy, Mark, Bev, Shelly and I have our hands full during that time.  It is, however, a different look during spring break.

REC Center is home to the St. Joseph’s Braves sports teams.
St. Joseph’s boys’ basketball teams play in January and February.

Spring break for the Lakota boys and girls gives us time to catch up on many things that we don’t have time for in January and February.  A lot of “little things” take place such as deep cleaning and organizing equipment.  This spring break was no exception.  With the addition of a handicap bathroom stall, we had extensive cleaning in both the REC Center office area and bathroom area.  The additional bathroom is a great addition to the building and will be greatly utilized by St. Joseph’s staff, students, families visitors.

We did have one spring break home on campus, so there was still some normal activity.  Each day, they scheduled time in the gym, pool, weight room or game room.  They also borrowed DVD’s and games to enjoy during break.

Another nice part of break is planning upcoming activities for the Lakota students.  The REC Center provides lots of programs and activities for the children from now through the end of the school year. The time it all gets put together is during spring break!

Now that the Native American students have returned to St. Joseph’s, we will start track for the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, T-Ball for the first through third graders, and softball for all the homes in grades 4-8! All these activities will wrap up in the middle of May.

In addition to activities for everyone, we have several staff and students we will be working with individually for wellness/health workouts.

All in all, spring break is nice and welcomed by everyone.  It is bitter sweet, however – we get a little break from the daily grind, but we also know it means the end of the school year is near.

Thanks for your support and have a happy Spring!

The Lakota children stay healthy and fit at St. Joseph’s Indian School.
The REC Center offers activities like wrestling and tumbling for the younger Lakota students.
All St. Joseph’s homes participate in field day, houseparents included!
Each spring, the REC Center plans field day for all the Lakota children.


Guest Bloggers: Rec Center Staff

Our Native American kids love playing outside in the South Dakota fall weather!
The kids love playing outside in the South Dakota fall weather!

We had lots of fun at our Enrichment Activity on Wednesday!

On a nice early evening here at St. Joseph’s after the elections, Mark and I decided to take the kids outside for some fresh, cool air.

In the first session, we had the Perky and Cyr (fourth and fifth grade) boys involved in some flag games. Mark really had the boys moving and trying to avoid getting their flags (or as we called them, tails) pulled off. We played a game with lions and gazelles. The lions really did a number on the gazelles! Much thanks to Teresa, Odis, Lloyd and Joe for their help.

In the second session, the wind picked up and there was a little nip in the air, but it was perfect football weather! The boys from Fisher and Rooney (sixth, seventh and eighth grades) were out to show their football skills.

We had blue vs. yellow teams. It was close all the way to the end, and the clock ran in with a tie. That was only because Daryl kind of got into Trenton’s way toward a touchdown and they both hit the ground. Many thanks to Dick and Jan for braving the cool South Dakota breeze.

Next week, we have the Dennis and Afra Homes (first, second and third grade girls) at 6:00 pm and the Pinger and Stevens Homes (sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls) for the 7:15 pm time slot.

Mark and Andy

Guest Bloggers: Rec Center Staff

Two St. Joseph's Indian School girls wait for their soccer game to start.
Tashia and Hialle wait patiently for the soccer game to start!

Every Wednesday, St. Joseph’s has Enrichment Night.

Last week, the Afra & Ambrose Homes were involved in our own little soccer camp!

First, we noticed the kids had a lot of extra energy, so we had them run some laps around the football field. That worked for a few moments. Soccer drills were taught by Mark S. and then we had a little soccer game. Thanks to Mike L. & Dave A. for their support.

With our older students, the Mathias and Rooney Homes participate in Camping 101 class. The Mathias Home had very little trouble in getting their tent together as they all worked as a team. The Rooney Home had some problems though. One of their poles got broken which made it tough to get up quickly. Thanks Mark for getting a new pole. Jan was the tent holder for most of the class. Thanks Jan.

Next week, we have the Cyr and Summerlee Homes at 6:00pm for our last Camping 101 class. The Fisher and Speyer Homes will fill the 7:15pm time slot with flag football.

Mark and Andy

Rec Center activities

Our last Enrichment night before spring break with the Afra and Dennis Homes (first through third-grade girls) was filled with the sound of the bat hitting the ball. We were inside playing whiffleball!

First, we had the girls throw and catch to warm up and improve those skills. Then, we played a game of whiffleball. The girls really were hustling and the score was close all the way to the end! Thanks to Sherry, Christine, Peter and Mike for all their help and cheering.

The boys from the Rooney and Speyer Homes (sixth through eighth-grade boys) tried their hand at a Hot Shot contest, which is a basketball shooting game. The first two rounds were one minute long and the top six shooters from each home played a third round of 30 seconds.

The Championship Round came down to Kyle and Jeremy, who each won a prize as the top shooters from their homes. After 1 minute and 30 seconds of shooting, Jeremy finished on top 30 – 18. Many thanks to Nate and Tony for keeping score, Mark for keeping the clock and Brian and Sue for cheering the boys to do their best!

Next week, when everyone is back from spring break, we will get back in the swing of Enrichment night. Hopefully, we will be outside playing t-ball and softball!

Mark and Andy

Enrichment activity at St. Joseph’s Indian School

Hello everyone from the Rec Center staff,

John playing a "Minute To Win It" game.
Our American Indian youth love playing these games!

Hey, did you know that on Wednesday nights St. Joseph’s Indian School has a night of activities for the homes called “Enrichment Night?” That’s where we get two homes from each community, for two hours that night and either teach them a new game or revive an old game for fun. We work on teamwork and certain skills. We also have “Enrichment Swims” going on at the same time for different homes.

Most recently, at our 6:00 pm time slot, we had our 1st – 3rd grade homes (Raphael & Afra) for our Enrichment Night Activities. They played a game that some of you might know from TV, “Minute To Win It.”  One game we played was call “Loner” which is when one person has to roll one marble at a time to knock down a pencil standing 15 feet  away in one minute!

Savannah did a good job in the “Bite Me” game and Trinity and Jarrett were excellent in their games as well. Even the houseparents were involved in some of the games as well. Thanks to Aleece, Leonard and Christine and Mike for all their help. We also played, “Stack Attack” and “Movin’ On Up,” which are plastic cup games.

The 7:15 pm time slot was with the 6th – 8th grade homes (Rooney & Fisher) who were involved as well last night. They were involved in a different night of activities. We called them “Tag Games.” “Swatter Tag” was a big hit with Josh and Adrian and the game called “Dead Ant” was a smash with the boys as well. Jeremiah and William were really into the game “Frogger.” These are games that build teamwork and are fun at the same time. Thanks to houseparents Tony and Roman for their help.

Next week for Enrichment activities at 6:00pm, we will have the 4th and 5th grade homes (Cyr and Perky) and at 7:15pm we will have the 6th – 8th grade girl homes (Mathias & Stevens).

Thank you,

Your friends in the Rec Center