8 Tips for Parent/Teacher Conference Success

January 30, 2014

Many of the parents and students in our After-School and Summer programs are preparing for upcoming Parent/Teacher Conferences at their schools. For some families this is an exciting time as they are encouraged by their child’s progress. However, for other families, Parent/Teacher Conferences are a time fraught with stress. Regardless of how you are feeling regarding meeting about your child’s learning, the tips below can help us all to make the most of our scheduled time. 

parent Teacher conference

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New American Series: Meet Amanuel!

January 30, 2014

New Americans Series

We continue a series on the five largest ethnic groups to be resettled to Sioux Falls in the last five years by the Refugee and Immigration Center (RIC).  Upcoming blog posts will focus on the following topics: Conflict History, Cultural Differences, and New American Success Stories.  Please join us as we learn together about our new neighbors and their courageous stories.

New American Series: Tigrinya Success Story

 Amanuel, a Tigrinya refugee from Eritrea, graciously agreed to visit us at the Refugee and Immigration Center this past week for an interview.  I wish I had video recorded the interview, as a transcribed version can’t really convey the depth and range of emotions shown as Amanuel recounted his epic journey to Sioux Falls or shared what he wanted community members to know about him and other Eritreans.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share as best I can some of Amanuel’s story with you today.

IMG_0267

 Can you tell us about your life in Eritrea?

I fled Eritrea in August 2003.  I served in the military as part of Eritrea’s National Service.  I graduated as a nurse in 2002 and thought I would now be free [from the National Service] but then—due to conflict with Ethiopia—we were mandated to stay in.  I could work as a nurse, but as part of the National Service the income was very small.  I left because of politics and the government.

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Medical Debt Survival Guide

January 28, 2014

Medical bills sending your reeling?

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, an estimated 1 in 3 Americans report having difficulty paying their medical bills – that is, they have had problems affording medical bills within the past year, or they are gradually paying past bills over time, or they have bills they can’t afford to pay at all.1 Read the rest of this entry »


Mentoring an Answer to Get Kids in College

January 27, 2014

A new study entitled “The Mentoring Effect” shows what we at LSS already know — Mentoring Works! The study was commissioned by the National Mentoring Partnership and was just released this month. Key points from the study include: Read the rest of this entry »


Indoor Fun for Winter

January 24, 2014

Last winter I wrote a post on Family Fitness When It is Freezing and one on how to Beat Boredom so I decided this year it was time to write about some other fun indoor activities. My eight year old daughter has turned into quite the little game player lately. She has moved past “Monopoly,” “War” and “Go Fish” and has some new fun favorites.

One game she is enjoying is “Garbage” or “Trash.” It is perfect for kids preschool aged and older and is even fun for adults. It doesn’t take a lot of skill but holds the attention of players as it is self paced and can be fast-moving. The goal of the game is to complete a set of 10 cards which teaches younger players number order. Wikihow has the instructions here.

trash

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How’s Your Vision?

January 22, 2014

 

 License Via Flickr. All rights reserved by Fizikal Rex

Via Flickr. All rights reserved by Fizikal Rex

The dictionary defines vision as “unusual competence in discernment or perception…intelligent foresite”.

In 1920,  leaders of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America and Grace Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls (now First Lutheran Church) had a vision.  It was to create a home for “unfortunate girls” and their children in Sioux Falls.  Read the rest of this entry »


New American Series: Eritreans (Tigrinya and Kunama)

January 21, 2014

We continue a series on the five largest ethnic groups to be resettled to Sioux Falls in the last five years by the Refugee and Immigration Center (RIC).  Upcoming blog posts will focus on the following topics: Conflict History, Cultural Differences, and New American Success Stories.  Please join us as we learn together about our new neighbors and their courageous stories.

New American Series: Eritreans (Tigrinya and Kunama Ethnic Groups)

Cultural Differences

Heterogeneous Eritrea is home to nine major ethnic groups.  The Tigrinya make up the majority of Eritrea’s population at 55%, while the Kunama are one of the smallest minorities at around 2% of the population.  While both groups have now found a new home in Sioux Falls, the historical and cultural differences between these two groups are important.  Read the rest of this entry »


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