Every morning, on The Bobby Bones Show, we hear good news with the segment called, Tell Me Something Good. #tmsg. Just hearing those stories can make you feel better. The other day I was thumbing through my Facebook feed and caught a post from Chad Johnson. Mr. Johnson is the JAG instructor at Lyman Schools in South Central South Dakota.

On the Facebook Post next to a stack of handwritten envelopes, Mr. Johnson wrote;

Often times we focus on what we don’t have, rather than the amazing things that we do have in our lives, we get so wrapped up in our own little world that we forget about the little miracles that happen every day. It’s very easy to forget to be grateful and we need to do some reflecting on the positive things in our lives.

Today our students sent out some letters of gratitude that they wrote. These will make someone’s day!

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I was impressed. I would venture to guess that if you put an envelope in front of most Junior High or High school students, they might 'at least have questions' on how to properly send written correspondence, in proper form.

The post also got me wondering more about this JAG program at Lyman Schools. Mr. Johnson said;

I took the new position of JAG specialist in the Lyman School District. JAG Stands for Jobs For American Graduates. The JAG program has core competencies (like academic content standards) that are grouped into 6 core clusters: Career Development, Job Attainment, Job Survival, Leadership Development, Personal Skills, and Basic Skills. These competencies will be met through Project-based learning, daily lessons, community service, guest speakers, and field trips. This program is intended to give students the ability and confidence to take the lead personally, socially and aid them in being a leader, being professionals while teaching them to socially interact with the world around them.

Photo from Chad Johnson
Photo from Chad Johnson
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What I like most about the project is, that students took time, gave it thought, and put those notes of gratitude down on paper with a pencil or pen. That makes it even more personal. Just reading someone's penmanship helps you 'feel' more of what the author was thinking at the time. Maybe the letter was sent to a parent or a pastor. Maybe they were penned for an elderly member of the community. You have to think the recipients were happy to receive the letters.

The JAG students at Lyman have done loads of good deeds around their hometowns. From putting protective coverings on the local golf course greens to helping straighten Christmas lights for an easier install. They have been a busy group!

Consider this an online pat on the back. To the Lyman students who wrote letters, I'm betting that you receive a return letter in the near future. When you get that letter, look at the writing closely. I'll bet you'll feel that 'gratitude' coming right back at you. 

Here is a Christmas Challenge. Take 5 minutes. Write a quick note of gratitude to someone deserving. You'll feel great, just doing it. And the person who receives the letter will feel even better!

Lyman Schools are comprised of students from Vivian, Presho, Kennebec, Reliance, and Lower Brule. I am proud of the work Mr. Johson and his JAG Students are doing. Keep it up!  JD

Life on a Cattle Ranch in Western South Dakota

Life is different out in the country. One look at the photo from Robin Bickel and you quickly realize that a workday is quite different as well, after all, she lives out west in South Dakota Cattle Country.

Robin Bickel took time to tell KIKN Country a little bit about her life out west and life as a woman, working outdoors with animals and nature in God's Country. Bickel lives and works on a cattle ranch operated by herself, her father, Jack, and his brother Keith. How far out in the country is she? How does 50 miles west of Mobridge, South Dakota sound? Yep, mountain time out there.

Life is so different in Sioux Falls, South Dakota compared to what our friends on the farm and ranches deal with. It's a half-mile to the grocery store for our family. For Robin, it's 17 miles. However, it's a quick step out her door and she's right in the middle of where a lot of the groceries come from.