Community engagement happens through a variety of programs support the development of relationships between our students and public school students. In addition to other benefits, these activities foster relationships that students in our high school program have in place when they attend Chamberlain High School.
Sixth- through eighth-grade girls (two from each grade level) can participate in the Chamberlain community’s Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES!), an evidence-based program that empowers them to make positive changes in their communities and to work with adults to support their efforts. The program meets two Thursday mornings per month. Participants are selected based on behavior, maturity and social skills.
Sixth- through eighth-grade boys (two from each grade level) can be involved in Explorers, a group that meets weekly on Thursday mornings.
Explorers select a major project they want to fundraise for the year. Through car washes, dances and other activities they set out to reach the monetary goal. Also, this group does an annual community clean-up event – raking, cleaning gutters and more – for a free-will donation. These funds are given to a community member facing particular hardship. Weekly meetings include a “man stuff” lesson to help the boys learn social skills, such as shaking hands, shaving or tying a tie. Participants are selected based on behavior, maturity and social skills.
Each home does at least two community service projects each year. Students select and plan the projects, which can be either on or off campus. These opportunities live out the Lakota values of generosity and belonging and provide experiences of teamwork and giving back to others.
Countless other opportunities – some sports-related, some social, some service – provide exposure to the broader community and become the basis for building relationships and breaking down stereotypes.