Why Goals Matter

January 13, 2020

Goals.  Goals, goals, goals.  If you follow this blog at all, you know I spend a lot of time talking about goals.  Whether it is developing a budget, tracking spending, adjusting income, monitoring a credit report, or just about anything else, I can tie goals into it.  And I do.

I think, for some people, they perceive that much focus on goals as a little…… hokey.  In some of our classes, we even get deep enough into goals to talk about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. Unfortunately, some have experienced some bad corporate training that just kind of turned them off.

That is NOT the fault of good goal-setting strategies.  It’s just that the whole main point of goal strategies was missed.  What is the main point?  The main point is “why”. Read the rest of this entry »

Beginning the Process – Your New Home

January 9, 2020

It’s a new year.  As we settle back into a regular routine after the craziness of Christmas, it’s that time of year where we start looking ahead to the coming year.  So what’s in your next 12 months?  Are you thinking about a new home?

“OK, put the brakes on right there.  It’s only January.  It’s cold.  It’s icy.  It’s the middle of the school year.  Who wants to move this time of year if you don’t really have to, right?”

Well, I actually have an idea that this might be a great time of year to move.  Find a nice, cold day that is well below freezing.  Dump some water on the driveway and sidewalk, let it freeze, and BOOM, you don’t have to carry a single box.  Just set them down, give them a little push, and they practically fly themselves right into your new home.

Yeah, I’ve never had anyone actually buy into that as far as I know.  But it’s a good idea, right? Read the rest of this entry »

Raven is Hiring!

January 7, 2020

Do you speak English as another language? Are you looking for a job with good pay in a clean, comfortable environment?

raven1If the answer to both of these questions is YES, Raven Industries and the LSS Center for New Americans have an exciting, new opportunity for you!

Raven Industries, a leader in manufacturing films and sheeting for agricultural purposes, is HIRING in their Engineered Films division. This job pays $16/hr for the day shift and $17.25/hr for the night shift.


In order to prepare successfully for these jobs, The LSS Center for New Americans is offering a Raven Production Job Class.

Interested? Here are the details:


WHEN: January 20 – February 28
Monday – Friday
10 am – Noon

WHERE: LSS Center for New Americans
300 E. 6th Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57103

If you are interested in joining this class, please come one time for an English pre-test at the LSS Center for New Americans on one of these three days:

• Wednesday, January 8 at 10:00 am
• Tuesday, January 14th at 10:00 am
• Wednesday, January 15th at 10:00 am

You must pass the pre-test to attend the class.

To sign up for a testing time, please contact Celina at 605-731-2000.

Don’t let this wonderful opportunity pass you by!


Written by:

Lindy Obach | LSS Center for New Americans
ESL Instructor
300 E 6th St | Sioux Falls, SD 57103
1-866-242-2447 toll free

Introducing LSS Climb

January 3, 2020


As you likely know, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sioux Empire ended their affiliation with Big Brothers Big Sisters America and transitioned to LSS Mentoring Services.

Now that the transition is complete, we are excited to announce the program will now be known as LSS Climb. Climb represents the journey mentors and children take to reach success. A mentor supports the child they are matched with as they climb toward a bright future.

Climb will serve youth ages 7-14 by matching them with a mentor and allowing them to meet in the community at times that work for both the mentor and child. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and successfully complete an application, screening and training process.

If you know of a child that would enjoy the opportunity to be part of LSS Climb, the first step is for their parent/guardian to complete an application.

LSS will work closely with each match to ensure everyone is having the best experience possible. There are currently 122 mentors in the Climb program and several kids waiting.

In Leadershift, John C. Maxwell wrote:

In a world that tells you to “get ahead”, it’s tempting to believe that advancing yourself is the best way to become a leader. Climbing the corporate ladder is just the price you pay–and people will understand if you have to step on a few fingers as you make your way to the top.

Except the question leaders should ask isn’t “How far can I go?”, but “How far can I help others go?”

Or–even better–“How far can I take the mission, and then how can I help others take the mission beyond my best work.”

While “climbing the ladder” helps you prove yourself in order to gain influence, you take your leadership to a whole new level when you hold other people’s ladders as they begin their climb.

This is the perfect represenation of LSS Climb. There are kids in Sioux Falls who need someone to hold up their ladder. Can we count on you in 2020?

Post by Michelle Madsen, LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle.Madsen@LssSD.org | 605-444-7801

New Year’s Budget From Last Year’s Bills

January 2, 2020

Many people traveled over the holidays.  Some went to new places for the first time.  This probably requires directions and maybe even a map.  Whether you are still rocking the old school paper maps (highly underrated) or depending on the wonder that is Google Maps, there is one important piece that HAS to be known to get you where you want to be – your starting location.

If you (or Google) don’t know where you currently are, google mapshow can you get accurate directions to where you want to be?  There’s always the old adage of “Go west, young man”, but if you are already west of your desired location, that’s not going to be helpful at all.  You have to know your starting point. Read the rest of this entry »

New Years From Around the World

December 31, 2019

Here in the United States, we typically follow the Gregorian calendar.  December 31 marks the end of the old year, and January 1 is the beginning of the New Year.  We here in South Dakota are some of those people.  However, it seems that around the world, there are many different celebrations for New Year’s, sometimes on January 1 and sometimes not.

I explored some of the New Year’s customs around the world including Burma, Japan, Ukraine, Sudan, and Mexico.  Here are a few of the things that I found.

In Burma (Myanmar), people follow the Burmese calendar, a form of lunisolar calendar, and traditionally the New Year for Burma falls in April during the Thingyan Festival.  The festival lasts for 5 days and during the first 4 days, people try to douse each other in water.  This Buddhist festival corresponds with many New Year’s celebrations throughout Asia.


Partaking of Water Dousing in Burma


According to Burmese belief, the water will cleanse the body, mind, and spirit from the previous year’s bad luck.  The people enjoy the refreshing water, too, as April is very hot in Burma.


In Japan, families end the year by eating toshikoshi (soba noodles).  The long buckwheat noodles are said to give longevity.  Noodles are served with fresh vegetables and tempura shrimp.  Just remember to finish all your noodles before midnight to avoid bad luck!

For those who are Buddhist in Japan, the Joya no Kane ritual is performed.  The Buddhist temples strike the temple bell 108 times on New Year’s Eve.  This symbolizes purification of the old year’s sins in preparation of the New Year.

In the morning, it is said to bring good luck if one watches the new rising sun and says a prayer.  Later that morning, toast with sake for good health, and then spend the day feasting, playing games, giving the children money, and having an overall great New Year!



In Ukraine, the Julian calendar was followed before the Gregorian calendar became popularized.  Because of this, many Ukrainians still follow the Julian calendar.  Jan 1 on the Julian calendar falls on January 14 in the Gregorian calendar.  Ukraine typically celebrates the New Year’s over a week’s period of time, January 7 to 14, with lots of music, festivals, plays, and outdoor activities in the snow including sleigh rides.

In Sudan where the Islamic religion is primary, the New Year’s is celebrated not in January but rather in August.  The actual date will vary each year according to the cycle of the moon, but the date ultimately corresponds to the prophet Mohammed fleeing from Mecca to Medina.  In 2020, New Year’s Day will be August 20.  Because New Year’s is linked to a religious event, it is considered a time to fast, pray, and be kind to each other by avoiding fights and other sins, and ultimately is a quiet time for reflection.

My Sudanese students have shared with me in the past that a typical meal for them on New Year’s was fresh ox with chili sauce.  Everyone from the village came together to slaughter the ox, eat, and celebrate the New Year together.

Interestingly, January 1 is an official holiday in Sudan as it is the Sudanese Independence Day; so many people will celebrate the day after all.

In Mexico, warm weather encourages people to celebrate New Year’s outdoor with barbeques and fireworks.  A typical traditional New Year’s meal starts around 8 p.m.  The family enjoys tamales and pozole (pork and bean stew) and drinks atole (a hot drink consisting of masa, cane sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes chocolate).  Afterwards, there are bonfires in the street and fireworks.

Some families like to hang a piñata, and the entire family from the youngest to the oldest try to break the piñata blindfolded until all the candy falls out.  Interestingly, the points on the piñata represent the 7 cardinal sins, and the candy represents the good that triumphs over evil.

So whatever you might plan on doing this year for New Year’s, consider adding in a new tradition…perhaps going outside in the freezing cold and throwing water at each other is not a good idea in South Dakota, but you surely you could ring a bell, eat tamales, and enjoy a good sleigh ride!

Happy New Year!  Here’s to 2020!

Written by Heather Glidewell | LSS Center for New Americans | Adult ESL Instructor

300 East 6th Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls, SD 57103

1-866-242-2447 toll free | 605-731-2059 fax


What we like about winter…

December 24, 2019


This past month we have been discussing seasons, especially winter as the snow has come to visit us in South Dakota.  Of course with this topic comes winter safety and winter driving and all the reasons we don’t like winter.  However, I asked my students to tell me three things they like about winter weather.  Here are a few of their answers:



The Beautiful View of the Big Sioux River in December

  • I like winter because my children love to play in the snow. They make snowmen and throw snowballs. They build snow forts every winter.  Snow can be a lot of fun.
  • I like winter because snow falls down. All places are very white. Some people don’t like snow because snow is too cold, but small kids need snow because they like sledding.
  • I like the snow. It is white. I like the winter.  My kids like it a lot and play.  My kids make snowmen, snow forts, and they like sledding.  For this reason, I like winter because my kids get excited to play in the snow.
  • I like cold because it’s good for my health. I like to play with my nephews outside because it’s so fun. In the season of winter, we celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.
  • I like wintertime because I get my tax return. I need money for my family. In wintertime, there are many holidays.  I like to be off and stay at home and rest from work.
  • Staying at home is good because I take time to relax and drink hot chocolate and watch movies.




  • In winter, I like reading a book in front of the window, watching the snow fall down. It feels good. I like to take pictures to remember that I was frozen and it was fun!  I like to spend time at home with my family.  It feels comfortable and warm.
  • It is fun to see the white stuff fall from the sky. The ice and snow beautify the city.
  • I like winter because I can eat a lot of food. I like to sleep at night, but it is freezing cold!
  • I like winter because it is Christmas time and I can have fun with my family.
  • I stay home all day most of the time talking together with family. We make tea, coffee, and see the outside view. I like a white Christmas.  I want Christmas time to have a lot of snow.


Here is wishing you have time to appreciate the beautiful snow, build snowmen, have snowball fights, stay warm, and drink lots of hot chocolate this winter!




Have a wonderful Christmas

this week

from all of us

here at the

Center for New Americans! 




Written by Heather Glidewell | LSS Center for New Americans | Adult ESL Instructor

300 East 6th Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls, SD 57103

1-866-242-2447 toll free | 605-731-2059 fax


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