Mike P

Greetings from the staff and students in St. Joseph’s Pinger Home (4th, 5th &

Mike works with the Lakota girls in 4th and 5th grades

Mike, a St. Joseph’s houseparent

6th grade girls)!

Since we last visited, things continue to go fast and furious for the girls.  We finished up our basketball season in December and all the teams (4th, 5th and 6th) came home with winning records.  We had a great year working with the girls and they really progressed as the year went along.  I was fortunate enough to be able to help coach all three of these grade levels and there was a lot of talent on the floor.  The best thing though, is that they came to practice with a smile on their face and worked hard every day.

After Christmas break, the girls came back and we had our St. Joseph’s Christmas party.  What a great time that was! Thank you for your generosity – without your support, these things wouldn’t be possible for our students.

We had our St. Joseph’s Christmas parties when the students returned from break.

The Pinger girls had an awesome Christmas thanks to you!

Now the girls are staying busy with cheerleading, gymnastics and martial arts. The sixth graders are still involved in basketball through our inter-city program, which combines the St. Joseph’s girls with girls from Chamberlain for scrimmages on Sunday afternoons.

St. Joseph’s girls’ basketball season concluded just before Christmas break.

Mike helped coach the 4th, 5th and 6th grade basketball teams.

We are still walking almost every morning and so far have put in almost 15,000 laps which equals out to 750 miles.  Spring break is closing in fast and that will mark the end of the 3rd quarter of the school year.  It’s hard to believe that it has gone so quick! Thanks for all that you do to help the children and support our mission at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Best wishes from the Pinger Home girls and staff,

Mike P

Hello and greetings from Mike and the Pinger Home!

Mike works with the Lakota girls in 4th and 5th grades

Mike, a St. Joseph’s houseparent

After spending my first 11 years at St. Joseph’s Indian School in the William Home with fourth and fifth graders, I have moved! I am now in the Pinger home with fourth, fifth AND sixth graders. The school year is off to a very fast start – it is truly hard to believe that the first nine weeks end today!

As always, the start of the year brings on many new things.  There are new staff, new kids and new memories to make.  Powwow is truly one of my favorite days of the year.  Watching the kids get prepared and the practice they put in to their dancing leading up to the big day.  We were delighted to have both Miss St. Joseph’s and Jr. Miss St. Joseph’s – Shawnna and Diamond – in our home. We’re so proud of them!

The Pinger Home is so proud of Diamond and Shawnna being named Jr. Miss and Miss St. Joseph’s.

Diamond, Jr. Miss St. Joseph’s, and Shawnna, Miss St. Joseph’s, are both in the Pinger Home.

Things can be hectic this time of the year too.  We have girls in cross country and volleyball as well as a large number in martial arts.  Trying to find a schedule that makes sense can be difficult at times, but the girls can adapt to most anything and we seem to make it work.  With volleyball and cross country winding down, it means that basketball season is right around the corner, so I will add coaching and refereeing to my list of things to do.

Next week, we will be time to start our morning walking group. Last year, the girls set the bar pretty high by getting in over 21,000 laps in the rec center gym.  That is over 1,000 miles! This group is out to set a new record and raise the bar again.  We will keep you updated on our progress.

Thanks for your support and we hope you enjoyed our first blog from the Pinger Home!

Mike, Houseparent

Good day from the staff and Lakota (Sioux) girls in the William Home (4th and 5th grade girls)!

Mike works with the Lakota girls in 4th and 5th grades

Mike, a St. Joseph’s houseparent

The year has gone by quickly; it is hard to believe, but we will be starting the final quarter next week when school resumes after spring break.

We have finished up our walking program for the year. Each morning, we got up early to go to the rec center and walk laps. As a home, staff and students walked a total of 21,460 laps this year.  That is equal to 1,070 miles!

Now, hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can get outdoors and play in our free time. We have our home trip coming up soon and everyone is excited. A fun weekend away from campus towards the end of the year is always a great time to reflect on our school year and the relationships we have built.  We are planning on going to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and visit the Butterfly House, the Washington Pavillion to take in some science exhibits and then the Sky Zone for some trampoline time.

Right now, I am working in the spring break home. Some of St. Joseph’s students stay on campus during breaks for a variety of reasons. There is always a place for them here. It is a relaxed time and the kids enjoy recreational and leisure activities.

The girls in St. Joseph’s William Home walked over 1,000 miles to meet their fitness goal!

The Lakota (Sioux) girls in the William Home got up early every morning to walk at the rec center and meet their goal.

Staff members can apply to work one of the shifts in the break home, or just take the time off – it is not mandatory for any staff to work in break homes.  Many students in the spring break home are younger and I also have a couple girls from the William Home. It is nice to get to know younger students and spend some extra time with the kids I already know.

We hope you have all survived the winter months! I hate to say it, but I’m done with my shift today and headed out to hit some golf balls – our snow is gone and we’re supposed to get up to 60 degrees!

Blessings to all,

Mike and the William Home girls

Hello from Mike and the William Home! We are one of St. Joseph’s 4th and 5th grade girls’ homes. We have 12 Lakota (Sioux) girls living here and this is my eleventh year as a houseparent at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Kyla lives in the William Home at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Kyla brought home first place in the Traditional category at St. Joseph’s powwow!

It is hard to believe, but we are in the last week of the first quarter of school already.  It has been a very hectic schedule so far and we are having a lot of fun.  Some of the highlights for us have been St. Joseph’s annual powwow, where we had the opportunity to be one of the homes that donors toured as part of the scheduled activities.

The girls spent Friday evening making cupcakes and bars to serve to our guests, and showed them around our newly remodeled home on Saturday.  Seven of our girls danced at powwow – Kyla brought home first place in Traditional and Shawnna was runner-up to be Junior Miss St. Joseph’s!  One of our houseparents, Jessica, had a baby in September. She is away being a mom until mid-November.  While she is gone, Zee is filling in for her.  Zee is a new staff member who is originally from South Africa.

We are also off and running – or I guess walking – with the William Home fitness program.  Last year, the girls walked 20,000 laps in the gym, which is equal to 1,000 miles.  We will keep you updated on our progress as the year goes on.

Basketball season for the girls is just a few weeks away. They are getting anxious to start and have been getting in some shooting when we have gym time on the weekends. Our first game is scheduled for November 7 at Crow Creek.

We hope all is well for you! A big thank you to all the donors who took the time to visit the William home and St. Joseph’s campus during powwow.

God Bless,

William Home girls and staff

Hello again from the William Home’s fourth and fifth grade Lakota girls!

It has been an exciting time recently as we have been packing, cleaning, and preparing for our move back in to the newly renovated William Home.  We are in and the girls are so excited!

It is bittersweet for the fifth graders, since they will only get to be in for a short time before summer break begins. Next year, they will move to the older community of sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students on St. Joseph’s campus.

We recently took our annual home trip to Rapid City, South Dakota and visited and indoor water park.  These girls can go up and down those stairs on the slides for hours!  Oh, the joy of youth…

As we wind down the year at St. Joseph’s Indian School, we would like to thank all of our benefactors who make the work we do with Native American children possible.  God bless and have a great summer.

St. Joseph’s Indian School recently completed renovations on the William Home.

The girls in the newly renovated William Home do their homework at the kitchen counter.

The Lakota (Sioux) girls in the William Home have had a great year!

The girls in the William Home have walked over 1,000 miles since the start of the year!

Greetings from the staff and students of the William Home (4th-5th grade girls)!

It is amazing how fast this school year has gone at St. Joseph’s.  We have been able to accomplish so many things and are working hard to finish up the school year with many positive memories.  The Lakota (Sioux) girls in our home have been so busy this year with basketball, Dancing Dolls, cheerleading and gymnastics as their extracurricular activities.

We have completed our walking program for the year and it is safe to say that we far exceeded our goal!  We put up a map to track our walk with a goal of walking to the hometowns of each girl in our home, which would have been just over 15,000 laps in the gym (750 miles).  We are happy to say that our final total is over 20,000 laps, or 1000 miles!

Recently, we were able to travel to the Lower Brule Indian Reservation to attend mass and then serve treats afterwards.  The girls have always enjoyed doing this and, of course, love to show off their cooking abilities. We still have the circus coming up, as well as our home trip that will take us to Rapid City, South Dakota, to the water park.

One of our big highlights of the year will come soon when we start moving back in to the newly renovated William Home.  All of us are excited to see the new home, although the fifth graders are a little bummed they will only be in the new home for a short time.

As always, with a school year winding down, you think about all the memories you have made with those fifth graders and will miss them when they move up. Thank you to everyone for helping to make this a wonderful and memorable year in the William Home!

The Native American boys and girls at St. Joseph’s love celebrating their birthdays with family.

Pearl invited her brother over for her birthday party.

Greetings from the staff and girls of the William Home!

We have been very busy since our return from Christmas break.  We had our St. Joseph’s Christmas party  the week after the kids came back.  Thank you so much to our donors who helped make the students’ Christmas party possible!

Basketball season for the girls is over but that does not mean that things are not busy! The girls are now involved with tumbling and cheerleading weekly.  We had two girls with birthdays last week, so we hosted parties for them in the home. Each had some of their friends over for supper and cake.  We had a great time!

The Lakota children love receiving presents for their birthdays!

Rose got a Candy Land game for her birthday!

The spelling bee is this week and we’re proud to say four of our girls will participate.

The William Home continues with their walking fitness program and have totaled 13,136 laps, which is just over 656 miles.  We are ahead of our pace to reach 15,200 laps by spring break!

Hope you all enjoy the updates from the William Home and we thank you for all that you do for the Lakota children at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Happy Holidays from the William Home!

Each year, we host an open house and invite our teachers, mentors and other staff that work with our kids to come over and have some Christmas goodies. This is a great chance for the girls to show off their home and use their social skills and manners in a larger setting.

Kira grabs a loose ball in her last basketball game!

Great hustle Kira!

We just completed our fourth and fifth grade basketball season and the girls went out with a victory in their last game at a tournament in town.  This was such a fun bunch to spend time with! It was great to be able to watch the different skills we try to coach begin to appear in the games.  At this age, we spend a majority of our time in practice working on basic skills and how to play the game properly from dribbling the basketball, to sportsmanship on and off the court.

The girls also had the opportunity today to go through the Christmas store and pick out gifts for their families.  After that, they went to see Santa, wrap their presents and enjoy some treats.

We have also continued our walking program with the girls. We are happy to announce that we are currently at a total of 10,789 laps in the gym, which is a little over 500 miles!

From the William Home, may you all have a very Merry Christmas and all your travels be safe!

Week 3: 3,077 laps

Greetings everyone from Mike and the William Home (4th and 5th  grade girls)!

This is my tenth year working in the William Home and it is hard to believe that we are finishing up the first quarter of school this week.  As always, St. Joseph’s Indian School’s powwow was very enjoyable and our Lakota kids love showing off their homes, campus and dancing.

The girls are now getting excited for the start of basketball season. We signed up October 18 and our first game is November 5!

If you have followed the William Home activities from last year, you may recall that we set a goal to walk 500 miles (10,00 laps in the gym) as a group.  Well, this year the girls have a new plan. We have worked to find the mileage to all the girls’ hometowns and have set up a map to track our walking.  Our tour is set to take us 760 miles or 15,200 laps around the gym. So far, we have made it to Fort Thompson and Lower Brule and are headed to Winner, South Dakota next.

Thank you for all you do to help the children of St. Joseph’s, and we will keep you updated on where the William Home is on our walk!

It is hard to believe that the school year is coming to a close and our fifth graders will be moving on to new homes next year.

Some of our Native American girls standing at the zoo entrance.

The William’s Home had a great day trip!

The William Home has been busy. Last weekend we took a day trip to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to visit the Washington Pavillion and the Great Plains Zoo.  The weather tried not to cooperate at first but by the time we were ready to get to the zoo it had cleared up for us.

The Pavillion is a very interesting and educational place and the girls are able to do a lot of hands on activities dealing with science.  They really enjoyed getting into the tornado demonstrator where they were able to feel 78 mile per hour winds and their hair really told the true story.

The zoo is always a great experience and we spent a lot of time feeding the animals in the petting zoo area.  We have had a great year with this group of fourth and fifth graders. Though it is always sad to say goodbye to our fifth graders, we are just as excited for the girls that will be moving up next year.