Something a parent recently said at a Parent Advisory Council meeting caught my attention. He expressed concern for students who, upon returning home, have little

Clare, St. Joseph's Director of Pastoral Care

Clare, St. Joseph’s Director of Pastoral Care

structure or things to do. He wanted to know how we might support students when they return home from St. Joseph’s.

Because of his request, we are piloting a project called “Summer Genius.” Students in grades 1-6 have headed home with a backpack full of supplies to keep them sharp, active and learning this summer. There is a jump rope with an age-level challenge, a “How to Juggle” kit, finger puppets, Lakota word and phrase lists, a nature scavenger hunt, a prayer practice, a book of mazes, a kit for making bracelets, a kite, a journal, a grade-level “Summer Bridge Activities Book” to reinforce all they have learned this past year, and materials to send a note back to St. Joseph’s staff.

Summer Genius packs include a jump rope with an age-level challenge, a “How to Juggle” kit, finger puppets, Lakota word and phrase lists, a nature scavenger hunt, a prayer practice, a book of mazes, a kit for making bracelets, a kite, a journal, a grade-level “Summer Bridge Activities Book” to reinforce all they have learned this past year, and materials to send a note back to St. Joseph’s staff.

Each student received a Summer Genius pack to take home, including activities to keep them growing – mind, body, heart and spirit.

This came about because that parent’s request resonated so much with me. As a mother of three now-grown children, I remember those first days and weeks of the “horse latitudes” of summer. By that I am referring to that belt of calm air and sea where literally nothing is going on… a ship can get quite stuck. Without the structure and activities that mark the school year, children find themselves lost, becalmed and irritable.

They are used to the directives and organization of school, and it takes work to help them be positively self-directed during summer. My children would pick on each other and complain about everything. “I’m bored” was their mantra. In my first years as a parent of grade-school children, I was baffled by this phenomenon. “It’s summer,” I thought. “We all should be happy!”

As I realized what the problem was, I started our summers with as much structure as I could. We read a book at breakfast. They had worksheets to do. They had chores, and organized outings, and bubble wands, and as many activities as I could lay out.

Did this keep up all summer long? No. Just until they became used to the freedom and figured out how to enjoy it!

We wish you an enjoyable summer, as well as to every one of St. Joseph’s Indian School’s “summer geniuses.”

God bless!

Clare, Director of Pastoral Care

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Let me blow on my fingers first so I can type the blog today… brrr!  It has been damp, cold and windy in Chamberlain. Despite the unseasonable weather, everyone seems up-beat since this is the last week of the school year.

While St. Joseph’s students in grades 1-8 have a week to go, our high school students have begun summer break. Last week, Chamberlain High School (where our students attend), held their athletic awards banquet.  Eleven St. Joseph’s students won varsity letters!

  • Irene was Rookie of the Year for the girls’ golf team
  • Danny was the Most Dedicated in boys’ golf
  • Jacob was the Most Inspirational in track
  • Adrian was honored as being Captain, MVP and winner of the Hustler award in boys’ basketball.

The last day of school was Friday. Sunday brought the graduation of the Chamberlain High School Class of 2015 with six St. Joseph’s students among the proud graduates. The armory was jammed with family and friends to wish the class well as they stepped into their futures. Congratulations!

Meanwhile, the Explorers group traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota to take in some baseball. They attended a Friday night game, spent the night and attended an afternoon game the next day before heading home.  It seems the Twins need them as good luck charms – the team won both games the boys attended but lost when the Explorers went home, dropping the Sunday game 11-3.


When students are back, they’ll put together presentations on their cultural trip.

Students camp throughout the seventh grade cultural trip, visiting places like Wind Cave, Bear Butte and Fort Laramie.

Today, St. Joseph’s students are having Field Day activities. Grades 4-6 did their events in the morning and grades 1-3 are doing theirs in the afternoon. When they are not participating in field activities, they will be at the local theater for a movie. All this is sandwiched around a picnic lunch at American Creek Park for everyone. Pray that the rain holds off!

This evening St. Joseph’s seventh graders will return from their annual cultural trip, which took them out to the Badlands, the Wounded Knee Massacre site and Wind Cave. They hiked Bear Butte and then visited the Crazy Horse monument being carved into a mountain in South Dakota’s Black Hills.

From there, it was on to Fort Laramie in Wyoming where a treaty was signed in 1868 between the United States and various bands of Lakota people along with Yanktonai Dakota and Arapaho Nation which guaranteed Lakota ownership of the Black Hills.  The discovery of gold led to incursions by miners and defense of their lands by the Native Americans which led to war and the seizing of the Black Hills by the government in 1877.

Next on the list were Greasy Grass, the Native American name for the Little Big Horn battle between the Native Americans and Custer’s 7th Calvary and Mato Tipila, more commonly known as Devil’s Tower and finally the Vore Buffalo Jump. Tomorrow, when students are back, they’ll put together presentations on what the journey meant to them which they’ll present them to the students and staff on Thursday morning.

This week will end with our eighth grade graduation. We ask you to keep our graduates in your prayers, that they may use the knowledge and skills they have developed here at St. Joseph’s to have a positive impact in the lives of those they’ll cross paths with in the future.

Have a great week! I hope everyone have a safe, relaxing and enjoyable Memorial Day next Monday as we honor and remember those who gave their tomorrows that we might have freedom today.

God bless,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Six St. Joseph’s seniors graduated with the Chamberlain High School Class of 2015.

Congratulations class of 2015!


Julie, Admissions

Julie, Admissions

Hello, our names are Celia and Julie and we oversee the Children Count Mentor Program at St. Joseph’s Indian School. The mentor program was established in 2001 to match a Lakota student with a positive adult staff member.
The goal of the program is to establish a positive relationship between adults and children, and to have a positive impact on Native American youth by actively

Celia, Residential Coordinator

Celia, Residential Coordinator

participating in their lives. These relationships can help children compensate for early experiences and protect them from the influences of social toxicity, negative peer groups and media violence.
Currently, we have 44 student/adult mentor matches. This year we even started some family matches so we could get more students involved. We have three family groups matched with either single staff

or married couples this year. We also have two staff members who took on the challenge of being matched with two students.
Students at St. Joseph’s are referred to the mentor program by their Family Service Counselor because they lack one-on-one contact with an adult – they may not have a family member who can check them out for an evening or weekend, or because they would benefit from a positive relationship with adults who actively participates in their lives.


We have three family groups matched with either single staff or married couples this year.

Mike and Jean mentor four brothers.

The mentor committee hosts five several events throughout the school year. We tried some new events this year. This included a hockey game and trip to a corn maze as well as our main events, picnics and Christmas get together. Everyone had a great time!
In addition to these organized events, staff spend 2-6 hours per month individually with their match. Some activities that students enjoy with their mentors are going out to eat, attending local sporting events, going for walks, making cookies and doing crafts, just to name a few.
Thank you for your support of this great program!

Julie & Celia

Mentor Committee

What a mess!!!  Mother Nature needs to be reminded this is spring. On Sunday, South Dakota experienced a tornado to the east that damaged the town of Delmont and

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

blizzards to the west which dumped over 12” of snow in the Black Hills.  This unexpected blizzard trapped three of St. Joseph’s homes who were on their end-of-the-year family trip.  Here in Chamberlain we had rain, wind and blustery weather which had everyone searching for packed-away sweaters.

The bad weather also played havoc with a soccer tournament over in Mitchell in which the boys from Ambrose Home and the local Chamberlain community were taking part.  The team had won their first two games and spent the night in Mitchell to see if they could continue their success on Sunday.  The tornado put an end to that and caused them to take shelter in a basement for nearly an hour before the all clear was given.  They are not sure if the game will be re-scheduled, but they’ll have something to talk about for a while!

The rain also forced the Chamberlain High School girls’ golf team to miss out on advancing to regional play in their quest to move on to the state golf meet.  The meet will probably be made up and we wish St. Joseph’s student Irene success as she carries the colors for Chamberlain High School and St. Joseph’s.

Artist in Residence Jenny Menzel spent last week with St. Joseph’s seventh and eighth grade students, teaching them to design and produce invitation cards and thank you notes.  Tipi Press Printing, our print shop, will be helping the students get them printed.

St. Joseph’s is proud to have six Lakota students graduating from high school.

Last Wednesday, we had a prayer service honoring our six high school graduates.

This past Wednesday, we had a prayer service honoring our six high school graduates.  During the ceremony a video was shown in which our graduates gave advice to our younger students, shared what they see their future holding and what schools they’ll be attending in the fall.  Tonight, the Baccalaureate service will be held at St. James Catholic Church for all of the Chamberlain High School 2015 graduating class.  Friday will be their last day of school and graduation is scheduled for Sunday.

Chamberlain High School recently held a ceremony honoring the academic achievements of various class members and awarded scholarships.  Angela, a St. Joseph’s student, was named a Regent’s Scholar and won the Ruth Potter Memorial/Dakota Indian Foundation Scholarship. Congratulations Angela!

On Mother’s Day we remembered our moms at Mass and then passed out flowers to all the mothers.  It was also a Mass to honor our eighth grade graduates.  Those attending were asked to take part in the blessing offered for the moms and the graduates.

I hope you have a wonderful week.  You are remembered in our prayers as we ask God’s blessings on you for your generosity and interest in the welfare and education of the Lakota boys and girls attending St. Joseph’s Indian School.

God bless,

Fr. Anthony

I just Love St. Joseph’s in the spring time. The campus is blooming both figuratively and literally! We can finally go outside without freezing (the younger ones don’t mind the cold, but us older ones sure do!)

Robin, St. Joseph's Special Education Teacher

Robin, St. Joseph’s Special Education Teacher

My, this year has flown by, there is still so much I want to do with my students. But alas, I will have to wait until next year!

I work exclusively with two boys, both 8 years old. What a wild ride we take each day! Learning is difficult for them, as well as others, but St. Joseph’s is blessed to have staff who are caring and nurturing for all our Lakota students. Those who need our help in whatever way, get it.

Have I told you how much I love it here?

I was privileged to go to a conference in California earlier this spring to pick up some new tricks and revitalize some old tricks for working with students with different needs. It is amazing how many people around this country – and other countries – care for students with special needs.

The biggest and best advice I remember is to Just Breathe! Not just the little breaths we take each moment, but to breathe from our stomach and get full amounts of oxygen. This helps the mind work better, keeps momentum up, and energizes you. Fill your tummy up with air and then let it out slowly. AHHHH refreshing! Many things I learned were specific for students I work with. Breathing helps – A LOT!

I am excited to work in the Summer School Program this year. We will combine both computer learning and hands-on science activities from NASA. One of our adventures will be to see a private plane at the airport. The students will get to sit in the plane and have their picture taken. They will also learn how the plane runs, and see it take off and land.

To help with all these adventures, my Para and I were lucky enough to be able to interview St. Joseph’s high school students looking for summer jobs. St. Joseph’s Indian School held a mini job fair, so they could see all the summer jobs available here on campus. I think we picked a good one to work with us!

Another one of my pleasures is being a Co-Advisor for the National Honors Society at St. Joseph’s. We work with 4th – 8th grade students who have shown good moral character, work ethic and show service to others. Academic grades are also a factor. We had 15 students inducted this year. One of our projects was to make blue ribbons for April’s Child Abuse Awareness Month. They made the ribbons and then passed them out to all the classes.

The next activity we are working on will be for the local domestic violence shelter. They are discussing either a bake sale or a collection of needed articles. We have such a generous group of kids!

We are always grateful for your prayers – we have seen the power of them over and over. Prayers to keep our children safe, prayers for our staff to better serve them in ways they need, and for healing old and new wounds of all kinds. Thank you for your generous support of our programs and all you do! I love it here!

God bless,

Robin, Special Education Teacher

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Our Lakota students have been busy lately, working hard to make their communities better places!

This past weekend, Chamberlain High School hosted its annual powwow.  The Native American Club – including many of St. Joseph’s high school students – worked behind the scenes to get things ready. Lots of St. Joseph’s staff and younger students also contributed their time and effort to set up, take part in the dancing and drum groups, help out with the food, judging and just be present to participate in this aspect of their culture and heritage.  One of our seventh grade students, Iyung, was crowned Junior Miss Chamberlain High School.  The powwow was held at the Chamberlain Community Center.

Also on Saturday, the Explorers group held a car wash to raise funds to help cover the cost of improvements to the community swimming pool. The boys washed and vacuumed 105 cars in only six hours!

St. Joseph’s boys are members of Explorers and participate in a variety of helpful projects in the community.

The Explorers washed and vacuumed 105 cars to raise money for the community pool.

The high school boys in the Sheehy Home helped out with a community-wide clean up recently. They worked around town wherever they were needed. They did such a good job, Chamberlain’s City Engineer made a point of letting the school know how impressed he and others were with the boys’ hard work.

We are honored to have our students represent our school recognized in such diverse ways and be recognized for their hard work. It reflects how our students share in the value of helping others since they are helped by the commitment of St. Joseph’s many donors.

Another example of how your generosity bears fruit is seen in the good news from Mary Jane, our Director of Alumni.  She sent out word that five St. Joseph’s alumni would be graduating from college between now and August:

  • LaSheena will graduate from United Tribes in Bismarck, ND with a two year degree in Business Management;
  • Janice will graduate from National American University in Rapid City, SD with her AA Paralegal degree and plans on attending law school;
  • Charity and Daisy will both graduate from Sinte Gleska University at Lower Brule, SD with AA Early Childhood degrees and plan on working toward teaching certification;
  • Steve will graduate from Sinte Gleska University in Mission, SD with his BA in counseling with an emphasis on Drug and Alcohol Counseling.

Six other Native American students are being helped through St. Joseph’s scholarship program:

  • Faith from Lower Brule, South Dakota, will be graduating from Duke University with her Masters of Arts/Public Safety;
  • Christopher from Springfield, South Dakota, is graduating from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a BA in Business Management;
  • Sandy from Lower Brule, South Dakota, is graduating with  her AA in Business Management from Sinte Gleska University in Lower Brule;
  • Kebra from Omaha, Nebraska, is also graduating from the University of Minnesota-Morris with her BA in Psychology;
  • Tamara from Alliance, Nebraska, is graduating from Oglala Lakota College with a nursing degree.

Thanks to your support, prayers and encouragement these 11 graduates will use their newly acquired skills to help others! Read more about St. Joseph’s alumni at

I hope you have great week!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Greetings from the St. Joseph’s Indian School High School

Dee, St. Joseph's Transition Specialist

Dee, St. Joseph’s Transition Specialist

program! My name is Dee and I am the Transition Specialist working with the high school students. My job is to help prepare students for life after high school graduation. There are many different opportunities for our seniors to consider after high school.

The “Senior Suitcase” is an important part of life after St. Joseph’s for our students. We – and our generous donors – want students to be prepared for their

Students had a list and a budget to stick to while they packed their “Senior Suitcase.”

Angela compares prices to be sure she’s getting the best deal.

future and living independently.

In understanding this idea, students received a budget and are able to purchase items needed that they will use once they depart from our campus – things like a microwave, television and laundry basket.

We know that our students have diverse plans once graduated (college, vo-tech school, military or workforce). So, with a budgeted amount of money, an itemized list and some guidance from staff, students can chose what they feel is suitable for them and what will come next in their life.

Our six graduating seniors were very appreciative and grateful to have

The “Senior Suitcase” enables students to purchase things they’ll need when they leave high school.

Erica has everything she needs for her college dorm room!

this opportunity! Thank you for your support and the great opportunity that this has provided for our students.


Transition Specialist


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