Thank you, thank you, thank you!

September 29, 2017

Mentors can teach many skills to the students they work with. One important one is the ability to say THANK YOU. With the help of community groups, kids will be able to say thank you to their mentors a little more easily this year.

The program has received donations of scrapbook supplies and volunteer groups have been busy creating cards that will be given to schools. Schools will then give the blank thank you cards to students to write a short note or draw a picture to give to their mentor.

We have been blessed with hundreds of cards this year, but are always in need of more. If you are a card maker and would like to lend your talents to a good cause or if you have supplies that are filling up your closet, we can take those as well! In addition to thank you cards, we are in need of 40-50 birthday cards that will be sent to older adults in the Better Together program. Please drop any donation off at LSS, 705 E 41st Street, Suite 220.


I believe…

September 20, 2017

northshore

I believe that LSS Center for New Americans is an integral part of the Sioux Falls community, strengthening families, providing much needed services, reaching above and beyond to help people. I believe hard work and determination goes a long way in changing lives, the community, and the world. I believe LSS gives people a chance when they had none. There is a certain satisfaction knowing that you have helped make your community a better place to be, have helped people live and thrive when they didn’t have that chance before.
I believe that people come here to be free, to live and love, to build a new life, a better life, and LSS helps them assimilate, helps them overcome language and cultural barriers, prepares them to find gainful employment and housing. LSS helps reunite families and keep families together.
I believe that we are privileged to provide many people with the chance to learn new things. For example, on Monday nights, we offer a technology class at the Center for New Americans. It is so exciting to help students succeed when they have never used a computer before. It is also exhilarating to teach a student who cannot read and write their own language how to read and write in English. These are the precious, empowering moments for our students that help them succeed in our community.
Some time ago, I had a student that told me, “I was afraid when I came to America, but maybe American culture is not bad, it is just different.” This comment has impacted my own thoughts and beliefs. My students’ cultures are not bad. They are just different. There is beauty to be found in each and every one of them.
I believe LSS Center for New Americans changes lives. Not only the lives of the refugees and immigrants they help, but the lives of all the employees and volunteers that work for the changes. Working at the Center for New Americans is challenging work but very rewarding. I believe that the final goals are definitely worth the effort!

Written by Heather Glidewell, LSS ESL Instructor

 

 


September? A holiday month? Really?

September 14, 2017

globe and flags

How many holidays are there in September? Well, that’s pretty easy. One of course – Labor Day. And that’s correct, but it also doesn’t end there. Just about every month has one or two major holidays and then many less known celebratory days, often too numerous to mention. And September is no exception. Let’s take a look.

September is the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, going from September 15 to October 15. Hispanic Heritage Month dates back to 1968 and highlights the independence of several Latin American countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile and Belize – as well as the contributions Spanish speaking individuals have made to the fabric of the United States.

Then there is Labor Day, also known as the unofficial end of summer. It became a federal holiday in 1984, honoring the American workers who – through strength, sweat and perseverance – have shaped this country into what it is today.

And then there is the plethora of other celebrations. A little something for everyone. The internet tells me that there are more than 650 holidays worldwide in September. Several religious holidays are spread throughout the month: the Muslim Eid-al-Adha, remembering that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Ishmail to God, the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a day of repentance. The government is also well represented, with Citizenship and Constitution Days, Goldstar Mother’s Day and the Air Force’s birthday.

Acorn squash, cheese lovers pizza, salami, TV dinners and Chocolate Milk Shakes are among the many foods highlighted during the month of September. All these meals require a National Clean Up Day. Don’t forget your pets, video games and clean beds.

My personal favorite is definitely National Coffee Day, observed on September 29. There might be some free cups of coffee to be found on that day. I will certainly give it a try.

National-Coffee-Day

Written by Silke Hansen, LSS English Instructor


School Attendance

September 7, 2017

Did you know that when a student misses two days of school each month, or around 18 days a year, they untitledare considered chronically absent? It may not seem like much, but missing two days each month accounts for about 10% of their school year. And if an elementary school student misses about 10 days per year, they will miss an entire semester of learning by the time they reach middle school. Nationally, one out of every ten students falls into the category of being chronically absent.

When students miss school, they miss opportunities to learn and the important interactions that occur with school staff and students that can’t be replaced or made up. While many  certainly miss a day here or there due to illness, it is important to make sure missing school does not become a habit.

We know that LSS Mentors make a difference when it comes to attendance. One counselor recently said, “when I look at a student’s attendance and they have a mentor, usually I can count on the students being at school on mentor day.” Kids love to see their mentor and don’t want to miss their weekly meeting.

To help encourage attendance, mentors can talk about the importance of school as well as point out all of the fun and good that comes from being in school every day.

The Sioux Falls School District continues to make school attendance a priority. They believe that as attendance rates increase, students outcomes and performance and ultimately their success in school will increase too. Mentors as well as anyone who wants to learn more are invited to a presentation by Traci Jensen, Sioux Falls School District Student Support Supervisor, on Wednesday, September 13, 12-1 PM at LSS, 705 E 41st Street. Email us at mentoring@LssSD.org or call 221-2403 to RSVP.


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