As I’m coming back from morning mass I usually see the bus waiting to pick up our high school students. Today I noticed a big crowd of students waiting for the bus. When I got closer I saw that half of the crowd was eighth graders, who will spend the day shadowing a high school student mentor. They are beginning their preparation for the transition into the public high school next fall. The eighth graders brought excitement and eager anticipation to the group, which is usually more sleepy and lethargic when it comes to going to school in the mornings. Once the eighth graders make the trek a few times, I think they’ll fall back into the half-asleep mode.
At the end of the day I ate supper with the Rooney Home (6th- 8th grade boys). They have five eighth graders who spent the day at Chamberlain High School. Michael liked the fact that unlike St. Joseph’s school with three floors, the high school is all on one level, just a lot more spread out. Kyle remarked that the math class seemed pretty tough, but then again he may surprise himself with what he is able to do a year from now if he takes his studies seriously.
The Rooney boys are in the 12 – 14 year old range, a time when they put away food like they haven’t eaten in days, and hit some big growth spurts. Jan, one of the houseparents, showed me a chart they keep chronicling the boys’ heights. Everyone in the home has added at least a couple of inches since August. Since last May, Merrill shot up from 5’0” to 5’8” – eight inches! That has meant lots of trips to Central Receiving to find more clothes that will fit. Thankfully, donors keep us pretty well stocked with the basics that the children need. Find St. Joseph’s Indian School’s needs list here.