In spite of blizzards and flooding this past month, 48 adult English language learners from the Center for New Americans along with three English instructors and a volunteer, were able to visit the state capital on Tuesday, March 12.
Leaving Sioux Falls in the early morning hours, students representing 20 different countries headed towards Pierre, South Dakota. On the way they stopped and visited Dignity: Of Earth and Sky, at the Chamberlain wayside stop. This was just the beginning of a very eventful and fulfilling day.
The group arrived in time to see the House and Senate in session. Students and teachers alike felt teary-eyed as Lt. Governor Larry Rhoden introduced them to the Senate.
Later Governor Kristi Noem met with students at the capital rotunda, where she spent a brief time speaking and answering questions and then posed for a photo. Additionally Representative Michael Saba greeted the students in the governor’s office.
Senator Reynold Nesiba, Laura Trapp of the Department of Labor, and Director Kendra Ringstmeyer were able to meet the students for a lovely lunch.
The group also spent time touring the capital building, visiting the Korean and Vietnam Memorial, and learning about South Dakota history at the Cultural Heritage Center. At the end of their busy day, they managed to make it home before the next snowstorm! Way to go!
Thank you to the South Dakota Department of Labor, Adult Education and Literacy, and Lutheran Social Services for sponsoring the event.
Written by Heather Glidewell, ESL Instructor