September 7, 2017
Did you know that when a student misses two days of school each month, or around 18 days a year, they are 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.
August 31, 2017
If you are anywhere NEAR my generation, you’ve watched “The Price is Right” more than once. Maybe not an entire episode, but at least segments of it. Come on, who can’t resist Plinko?!? A close second to that level of excitement was when the announcer (Rod Roddy, if you are my era), was asked what’s behind the curtain. “Well, Bob, it’s…… A NEW CAR!” And everybody went wild. The really good ones were when the contestant playing the game flat out ended up on the floor in excitement. That’s some good entertainment right there. Read the rest of this entry »
August 24, 2017
I’ve got some crazy dreams for my life – let me tell you. I would love to travel more, have a little bigger house, buy a pick-up again, have a small sailboat, build a strip-built kayak, go back to school for a master’s….. oh, there is so much I could do.
If you can’t tell, I can easily be a spender. Even as a ‘certified consumer credit counselor’, spending money could easily become a regular habit for me. That’s why I always appreciate clients who specifically state ‘saving more money’ as one of their personal goals. And when they say it, I have to agree, that sounds like a good goal for me too. Yeah, sure. I want to save more money too. Read the rest of this entry »
August 18, 2017
Volunteer Riley, Teacher Heather, and Teacher Amy at the Center for New Americans
Thank You Riley!
Volunteers are a vital part of the learning experience in our adult learner English classes. Volunteers decide to help with classes for various reasons. Volunteering is a great way to build confidence, feel a connection to society, develop new social skills, make friendships, be a role model, and share skills and talents with others.
Volunteers at LSS range in age from 18 to 80, and include current and former students, university students, work and church groups, retirees, and a myriad of others. These volunteers want to give back to our community and help others.
For the past year, we have had the privilege to have Riley join our intermediate classes as a volunteer. This past June, we had to say goodbye to Riley as she and her husband moved to Georgia for a new work opportunity.
Although many of our volunteers are local residents, Riley is originally from China. Volunteering is an excellent way for non-native English speakers to strengthen their language skills and help others in the process.
Riley became a volunteer at LSS, “Because I like helping people and one of my Chinese friends who learned and volunteered at LSS recommended LSS for me.”
Volunteers do many things in the classrooms at LSS. They may help students in a variety of ways to work on reading and writing skills, speaking and listening skills. When asked what Riley enjoys the most about being a volunteer, she said, “I enjoyed talking with students in the oral class to help them to improve oral English and discussing with students in the writing class to help them to improve writing skills.”
Riley’s favorite experience being a volunteer was, “that I learned English skills from teachers and knew different cultures from students.” She also greatly enjoyed the classroom activities for holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.
I asked Riley what her plans are for the future, and she said, “I hope that I could always be happy and healthy and realize self-worth.” Riley hopes volunteer again in the future because she believes that volunteering helps to better oneself and it is very important to her to help others.
August 9, 2017
Better Together, a program of Lutheran Social Services designed to improve quality of life activities for older adults will expand to Brookings this fall!
The program started in Sioux Falls in January 2015 in collaboration with the Sioux Empire United Way. In early 2017, LSS contracted with a consulting firm to look at opportunities to expand the program beyond Sioux Falls. Brookings was the community identified through this process as being the most capable and ready for Better Together.
To help carry out the program in Brookings, LSS has partnered with the Volunteer Service Bank. This organization, embarking on its 25th year of service will assist with local coordination and will help both volunteers and seniors get started.
In the program, trained volunteers will be matched with an older adult based on similar interests and schedule. Volunteer and older adult matches will spend four hours per month together going on outings, talking, pursuing hobbies, and other relationship-building activities.
With nearly half of people aged 65 and older in South Dakota living alone, there is need to use volunteers to help maintain or reestablish a connection to their community.
If you are interested in being one of the first to volunteer for the program in Brookings, apply here. If you know of an older adult who would benefit from this service, please let them know to call us at 444-7801 or complete an intake application.