Good morning friends of St. Joseph’s!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

This week, the Lakota (Sioux) students join thousands of others in celebrating drug free lifestyles with Red Ribbon Week. Monday, students wore their pajamas to class to remind one another ‘Follow your dreams — don’t do drugs.’ Tuesday, they showed their drug free school spirit by wearing blue and gold. Later in the week, they will be wearing special sobriety celebration T-shirts that say ‘Our School has SWAG (Students Who Achieve Goals).

Friday, of course, is Halloween. The children have had a wonderful time preparing ghoulish costumes and decorating their homes. Wendy manages our in-kind gifts and has collected a good supply of costumes and accessories for the day. After trick or treating on St. Joseph’s campus, students will gather in the rec center for the Costume Grand March. Prizes will be awarded for best costume, scariest pumpkin and the home with the cleverest decorations.

St. Joseph’s holds sobriety celebrations with the Lakota students three times per year.

Monday, students wore their pajamas to class to remind one another ‘Follow your dreams — don’t do drugs.’

Pilamayathank you – for your donations of gently used decorations and other items for every holiday of the year!

In addition to these festivities, preparations have begun for those students participating in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) program to receive Baptism, First Communion or Confirmation. With the support of their families, students have the chance to learn about and deepen their faith commitment in a special class offered each week. Families join their students on campus for a one-day retreat to offer support and encouragement to their child.  Please keep these young people and families in your prayers as they prepare to receive these Sacraments in April.

I spent Monday at a board meeting in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.  As part of St. Joseph’s outreach to Native Americans, we support a domestic violence shelter, a thrift store and an adolescent care facility on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation You can read more about their work and other outreach programs of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

I hope each of you has a great week and a fun Halloween! Remember, this weekend we move our clocks BACK an hour.  Enjoy that extra hour of sleep!

Sincerely,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

My name is Chelsey and this is my first “official” year at St. Joseph’s Indian School. While finishing up my Master’s Degree in Counseling and Human Resource Development

St. Joseph’s Family Service Counselors spend time with the Lakota children and their families.

Chelsey loves the time she spends getting to know the Lakota children.

last year, I was an intern here. I grew up right here in Chamberlain, South Dakota, however, and have been familiar with the school my entire life.

I have always enjoyed participating in activities on campus and a trip to the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center is still one of my favorite ways to spend a day. I’ve always had an interest in the Native American culture, and now I have the privilege of working with the Lakota (Sioux) students and their families on a daily basis.

When I first considered going into the counseling field, I asked to shadow a few of the counselors at St. Joseph’s. As I was asking many questions about the field and how things are done at St. Joseph’s, I remember one counselor telling me he could sum it up in one word…relationships.

After being at St. Joseph’s for a little over a year, I could not agree more. There are so many relationships that impact my job and daily responsibilities.

The most important relationship in my life is that with God. I feel so blessed to work at a place where I can openly share my faith while participating in mass, prayer services, and home prayers.

Relationships with the students are next, especially in my position as a Family Service Counselor. My favorite times during the week are spent in sessions with the students and after school in their homes.

Closely following the relationships with the students, is the relationships I have with their parents/guardians. One of my main responsibilities as a Family Service Counselor is to be the main contact person with the families. This allows me work through the struggles of each student with their parent or guardian, and also join in celebrating their successes.

Working at St. Joseph’s also gives me relationships with my co-workers and other staff who are all working toward the same mission: to educate the Native American youth for life – mind, body, heart and spirit.

St. Joseph’s Indian School is truly a family of its own and I am so honored to work for this organization.

Each day, I see examples of the staff coming together with different ideas, activities and projects to further the mission of St. Joseph’s Indian School and serve those around us.

With the years to come, I look forward to strengthening my relationship with God, building long-lasting relationships with the students and their families, and continue to fulfill the mission of St. Joseph’s Indian School with the wonderful staff that surround me.

Chelsey, Family Service Counselor

At St. Joseph’s Indian School, we strive to education the Lakota (Sioux) children we work with for life – mind, body, heart and spirit. With a safe environment and enough to

eat, the students are ready to learn! As a fully accredited facility, St. Joseph’s meets all the academic standards put forth by the State of South Dakota. Because we are a private school, we also have the privilege of having Religion and Native American Studies part of our regular curriculum.

Nancy’s third graders won the trophy and pizza party this quarter.

Nancy’s third grade class had the highest GPA for first through third grades. They win the trophy for the quarter and a pizza party!

First quarter has ended for the Lakota boys and girls, so school is in full swing!

Earlier this week, we held awards assemblies honoring those students who made the honor roll as well as those who had perfect attendance.  We also introduced our traveling academic trophies. The trophy will now be part of the awards ceremony honoring the class with the highest collective grade point average. Our first winners were Brock’s 5th grade and Nancy’s 3rd grade; the classes also get a pizza party to go with their trophy.

Traveling trophies will now be awarded to the class with the highest collective grade point average.

St. Joseph’s new Academic Traveling Trophies.

This was an idea borrowed from St. Joseph’s high school program. The high school program awards the trophy by home rather than class, but still recognizes the highest cumulative GPA and fewest missing assignments. We have five high school homes at St. Joseph’s, and our students attend Chamberlain Public High School

In addition to recognizing academic achievements, we have an Acalympics team. Acalympics is an academic challenge in which students answer questions across the curriculum spectrum.  St. Joseph’s students have taken part in several of these over the past few years. Recently, our team hosted teams from Pierre and White River.

Brock’s fifth graders won the trophy and pizza party this quarter.

Brock’s fifth grade class had the highest GPA for fourth through sixth grades. They win the trophy for the quarter and a pizza party!

Congratulations to all the teams! Pierre came in first, White River second and St. Joseph’s team took third.

These are just a few of the things we do at St. Joseph’s to educate the Lakota children for life – mind, body, heart and spirit. Pilamayathank you – for being such an important part of our mission!

Sincerely,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

Last Friday night, the St. Joseph’s Children Count Mentor Program headed to east to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for a picnic and corn maze. For those of you who have never

Claire works with St. Joseph's students in the homes and at school.

Claire

been to one, a corn maze is a series of paths cut into a corn field. Once inside, you must follow the twists and turns to find a series of 10 clues, using a map, and the setting sun for a compass.

Small groups of mentors and their matches travelled through the maze together. The Lakota students, full of youthful exuberance, quickly bounded into the corn field shouting, “I found the path!” As if there was just one path and not, oh, 7 or 8 of them. It really didn’t matter which one, since everything was brand new and exciting to them.

Off they went, with us slow adults in tow, struggling to keep up.   About three turns in, we were hopelessly lost. Well, not hopelessly. After about 10 minutes of random running around, we actually bumped into the third clue completely by accident.

This is when the map came in handy.

Having established our location, deep in the corner of the maze, Cindy deftly took over and began guiding us, turn by turn, back through the rows of corn until we found the preceding clues. This was how we proceeded for the rest of the 90 minutes we spent in the maze—Cindy guiding us carefully to the general vicinity of the next clue and then

St. Joseph’s students and their mentors visited a corn maze.

An aerial view of the corn maze.

the kids fanning out and locating the clue with a lot of shouting and jumping up and down. “I found it!”

This is how relationships at St. Joseph’s work a lot of the time, really. Kids are exuberant and full of energy, but aren’t always able to discern the right path. Adults can guide them most of the way, advising them where to turn and where to stop along the way. In the end, the kids have to make it to the goal themselves.

Life is like a corn maze, isn’t it?

There are plenty of opportunities to reach dead ends, back track and start over again. We can take shortcuts, but mostly we have to go the long way around and just be patient. Sometimes we’re not lost, we just don’t know exactly where we are. The important thing is to stick together, listen, and look out for each other. Also, be open to the tiny miracles along the way. Like a red moon rising over the horizon. Or someone unexpectedly offering you their gloves for your frozen hands.

My group found all ten marked clues, and headed triumphantly for the exit, brandishing our flashlights in victory. Eventually, all kids and adults were accounted for, giving a new twist to the No Child Left Behind law. We trundled onto the bus for the two-hour drive back to Chamberlain and St. Joseph’s Indian School, happy and tired.

I’d like to say thank you, not only to the people on the Mentor Committee who worked so hard to make this happen (Celia, Dee, Sherry and Jim), but also to the generous benefactors who support us in our work. Like flashlights in a maze, every little bit helps us to get where we are going!

Claire

Last week, a group of 16 matches from the Children Count Mentor Program traveled to a corn maze in eastern South Dakota. Every year, the shape of the corn maze changes

St. Joseph’s students and their mentors visited a corn maze.

An aerial view of the corn maze.

– this year it was a bear!

Students and their adult matches were divided into groups and given a map and a list of questions. The map showed the location of nine stations to be found. Each station provided the answer to a question and a clue to finding your way out of the maze.

The questions were – you guessed it – all about bears! The students also had a chance to find a treasure chest. It wasn’t on the map but, if found, awarded a special treat. This was highly sought after by each group. A few of the groups actually found the treasure after much searching.

St. Joseph’s Indian School has 35 students matched with adult mentors

Mentors and their student matches had a great time!

Each year, St. Joseph’s Mentor Committee organizes different gatherings throughout the year. These activities along with individual outings, allow students to have time with an adult to build another positive relationship.

There are about 35 mentor matches between Lakota students and St. Joseph’s Indian School staff members. To be a part of the mentor program, a student is matched based on their need for one-on-one time and positive adult role models in their lives. Matches are made based on mutual interests.

Everyone had a great time at the corn maze! Pilamayathank you – for your generosity to support programs like this for the Native American children we serve.

Dee & Celia, Mentor Committee

We had a very busy weekend at St. Joseph’s Indian School, including celebrating Native American Day yesterday. South Dakota has celebrated Native American Day instead of Columbus Day since 1990.

We were also honored to have Fr. Steve on campus for part of the weekend!

One of St. Joseph’s students took second place in the hand throwing pumpkin contest.

Seventh grader Haesel came in second in the hand-throwing section for her age group.

Fr. Steve, now our SCJ Provincial Superior, was back on campus to take part in St. Joseph’s semi-annual board meeting.  It was good to see him; his health is good and he’s

The Lakota boys and girls participated in the parade for the River City Band Festival in Chamberlain.

St. Joseph’s students carried banners in the parade for the River City Band Festival.

enjoying his new position.

During his visit, Fr. Steve was able to take part in Enrichment Night activities with the Lakota boys and girls and visit with some of the Hogebach girls who took part in an inipi ceremony the afternoon he arrived.

Saturday, he attended the River City Band Festival Parade with many of our students and staff.

Local and regional bands march in a parade and then perform in the field competition at the Chamberlain High School football field. During the parade, 40 St. Joseph’s students helped by carrying banners to advertise the local sponsors.

Sunday was the parish festival at St. James Catholic Church in Chamberlain. Several young men from the Cyr Home (fourth, fifth and sixth grade boys) volunteered to set up, help with some games and then take part in the clean-up.  One of their houseparents is the parish secretary, which inspired them to volunteer.

St. Joseph’s students and staff participated in a local pumpkin throwing contest.

St. Joseph’s maintenance crew constructed a pumpkin chucker for the local fall festival.

At the Chamberlain community fall festival the St. Joseph’s Chuckers won the contest for who could shoot a pumpkin the farthest with a catapult.   Several members of our maintenance crew worked together to construct a launcher and won 1st place.  Haesel, one of our seventh graders, came in second in the hand throw contest for the 10-15 year age group.

As the autumn days slip away, we see the football and volleyball seasons wind down and come to an end.  The seventh and eighth grade football team will have their last game of the season this week as they host Crow Creek.  The girls’ volleyball teams will be on the road to Pierre to play PILC (Pierre Indian Learning Center).  Our flag football season is also winding down and the students had another good year.

May God continue to bless and reward each of you for your generosity for the education and care of the Lakota boys and girls.  Be assured of our prayers for you and your loved ones.

Sincerely,

 

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

Greetings from a chilly Chamberlain!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Throughout the school year, St. Joseph’s high school students visit various colleges and trade schools as they consider their future. Last week, several or our seniors, juniors and sophomores traveled to the University of South Dakota to learn more about the campus and classes offered there.

On the trip to USD, our students were thrilled to catch up with St. Joseph’s alumni Errol and Wyatt, who graduated in 2014 and now attend the University of South Dakota. It was great to have their insight about the transition from high school to college. Thanks guys!

You may have heard about the recent difficulties at Chicago’s airports. The ripple effect of this disruption in air travel made it all the way to South Dakota. Our team going to the donor luncheon in Chicago this past weekend had their flight cancelled. In an effort to keep our scheduled events, the decision was made to drive to Chicago.

Everything went great!

The Lakota (Sioux) students prepare for the future by visiting colleges and tech schools.

St. Joseph’s high school students visited USD and met up with alumni Errol and Wyatt.

Justina and Treyah did a great job speaking to our donors. The trip was made extra special by a visit from Fr. Steve Huffstetter, SCJ, past Director of St. Joseph’s and our current Provincial Superior. He joined the team for the Saturday lunch and sightseeing. Fr. Steve grew up near Chicago and was excited to show the team the local sights.

During the donor events we hold in different cities around the U.S., two of our Lakota (Sioux) students share with our benefactors how their generosity touches the lives of the children who attend St. Joseph’s.  Our next luncheon will be in San Francisco, California in January. You can register online or call 1-800-584-9200. We’d love to have you join us if you are in the area!

Within the next few days, St. Joseph’s will be hosting exchange students from Germany. In June, we send a couple students to visit Germany and France. In the fall, our European counterparts become our guests and visit St. Joseph’s Indian School.  They will attend a few days of classes with our students at Chamberlain High School, do some sightseeing and make a presentation of what life and school are like in Germany.

I hope that everyone has a great week.  May God continue to bless and reward you for your generosity.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

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