Huge grins and a warm handshake

This afternoon was our annual rivalry basketball game with Chamberlain’s 7th and 8th grade teams to earn bragging rights for the year. Both teams play hard to win, but since many play together in our fall intercity basketball league, there is also a good sense of familiarity and friendship. I noticed at the tip-off of the 8th grade game, Michael was jumping against a boy he played on the same team with in the fall. They had huge grins and gave a warm handshake before the competition began.

Chamberlain has a strong group of 7th graders, and easily defeated our crew. In the 8th grade, we have a strong group of boys and definitely had a height advantage. But, the Cubs played good team ball and forced overtime. Our Braves finally won by three. Since it’s really a local game for both schools, we had a great crowd in the stands to cheer the players on. Many of our staff had kids or grandchildren playing for the Cubs, and most of us had to root for all the kids on both sides of the ball.

A reporter from the local newspaper came to interview me about the progress of our Akta Lakota Museum expansion and alumni/ historical center. The workers have lifted the ceiling beams into place and are working on roofing now, so it’s really taking shape. Still, it will take another year plus for the whole project to be completed.

Tuesday was Valentine’s Day! At the end of the day our students passed out cards, many store-bought, but a few homemade, to friends and classmates. The boys at Cyr Home baked treats to share with their 4th and 5th grade classmates – yummy and very appreciated!

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, in my spiritual reading, I came across this quote about love from Pedro Arupe, former superior general of the Jesuits:

“Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.”

In my weekly meeting with Mike, director of Child Services, we discussed our Lakota cultural programming. In our strategic plan we identified the need to add another staff position to complement what we are already doing in this regard. We’re looking at moving forward and hiring someone for next school year. We have begun some good things in terms of dance, drum group and language and see the need for continued staff education and development as well.

At the William Home (4th and 5th grade girls) for supper, I got to meet Chuck, our newest houseparent, who is shadowing Mike and Jessica to learn how we do childcare here at St. Joseph’s Indian School. Chuck had his two year old son Izzy with him, and the girls were quite enamored with the little guy. Izzy had a dozen big sisters willing to play and watch after him, and seemed to enjoy the attention.

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 90 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

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