Starting a New Semester

All our homes opened at noon yesterday and we welcomed our younger Lakota students back to campus yesterday. When I started the rounds to the homes right after lunch I only saw a few kids in each home, which gave them a good chance to visit with houseparents about their Christmas break.

As students arrived, houseparents checked bags and helped younger students mark their names on new clothes or toys they brought back. Some received a fair amount at Christmas; others came back with very little. Next weekend, we’ll try to make it nice for everyone when we pass out the presents people have so generously sent us for the children.

After the initial check in, it was off to the health center to see about any bumps or scrapes or medical needs. The houseparents were especially pleased if the nurses sent a blue pass back with the child meaning all clear. By suppertime, our homes were mostly full. We’re glad to have the kids back, excited about what the new semester will hold!

Today I made the rounds at school. I met three of our new students and started working to engrave their names and faces in my memory. We do admissions throughout the year and expect a few more to join us in the next few days.

The sixth graders were practicing for the upcoming spelling bee. I took the list and asked them to spell words that even I didn’t know the meaning of! I sat in with the third graders as they learned about Neptune’s larger than earth moon, “Triton,” with its ice spewing volcanoes. It’s good for us adults to get refresher courses on all we’ve forgotten over the years, and learn a few new things as well.

At the end of the school day we held an all school prayer service to start the third quarter. Several students were recognized for their efforts and attitude over the past quarter and came forward to receive a certificate. As always, we asked God’s help and blessing on the New Year and new semester.

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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