Music & Sweet Snacks

Have you ever seen those colorful commercials begging you to order a Kids Bop CD? You know, the ones with a bunch of kids singing, jumping, and dancing? Well, that pretty much sums up what the Lakota girls in the Afra Home consider an ideal day. They love music!  They love singing, dancing, playing instruments, and making their own choreography; they could literally do it for hours.

Imagine having 10 little girls (grades 1-3) who all want to take a turn at “playing” one keyboard. Sure, I have a massive headache by the time it’s all over, but it makes me happy to see them happy, so that’s what we do.

All the kids at St. Joseph’s have to tidy up their rooms every morning as well as take care of their chores and responsibilities. As an incentive, the order in which the girls finish determines the order in which we pick songs to dance to later in the day.

Here is a homemade music video of one of their recent and awesome picks:

The differences between what motivates our girls versus what motivates our boys are really interesting. Among other things, the boys LOVE food. I really enjoy cooking for them. Here at St. Joseph’s we never withhold food as a punishment or give them food as a reward. Obviously, food should be something all children should have no matter what. However, sometimes I will cook things that take extra work in the kitchen if the boys have had a good day.

On Sundays after church, if the boys were good, I won’t make a “boring” lunch. I make brunch, which includes homemade chocolate chip pancakes and a special peanut butter sauce to go with them rather than syrup. I love seeing Jachin and the boys sitting at the table waiting in anticipation. They get so smiley and excited. I can’t explain it but my heart does a little dance when they exclaim “Thank you for cooking Luleisa!!!”

We are also doing a health challenge, which entails eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies with every meal. The word “challenge” is an understatement. Sometimes the boys just don’t want to eat vegetables. However, if they don’t eat their fruits and veggies at supper, then they don’t get “sweet snack” in the evening.

Fridays are a very important day for the Ambrose Home boys. Everyone has only one goal in mind: I. MUST. MAKE. SWEET. SNACK.

Dinner is their mission. They take it very seriously because on Fridays we give them a can of pop and a full sized candy bar. Of course, if you don’t eat your supper, you’ll chomp on fruit as you watch everyone else guzzle down their pop.

Ladies and gentlemen, if this video doesn’t inspire you to eat your veggies, there is no hope for you! Here’s Paite vs. Food: Friday Green Bean Challenge

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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