"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears..." If you can finish that line, it's probably because of an English teacher in your childhood.
The children at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch wrapped up their study of Shakespeare and Julius Caesar by reading these words on March 15th, the Ides of March.
One of our students did the reading, while John Campbell, our Fargo Dean of Students, portrayed the slain Caesar. He lay on the floor with a napkin over his face in the middle of the Thrivent Nutrition Center during lunch. After the reading, the young woman sat down beside me and told me how she enjoyed speech and theater at her last school. You could tell this wasn't her first time in front of an audience.
The discussions that followed the reading were pretty amazing too. Kids talked about Shakespeare and what they were doing in other classes. One teacher said we could celebrate the Ides of every month, and the kids set him straight—explaining why the Ides of March is totally its own thing. I, too, told him that wouldn't work because April 15 is also totally its own thing, Tax Day!
This is the type of interaction you see on our campuses every day. Teachers and staff finding ways to engage our kids in discussions that allow them to freely express their ideas and thoughts. And engage in a little joking banter.
Dakota Memorial School is a very special place for kids who haven't done well in school. Lighting, furniture, sensory tools, and well-trained teachers and staff come together to provide specialized education for our kids. But, that does not mean the curriculum is any less challenging. Our students study Shakespeare, Advanced Chemistry, Algebra, History, Art, Horticulture, Woodworking, Welding, PE, and so much more.
It takes a special kind of person to meet kids where they are at and help them find their own way to learn. I applaud every member of our staff who works with these children. With the help of our donors and friends, we give these children the tools they need to succeed today and in the future.
Senior Development Officer
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Christian residential treatment and educational center for children and their families. We help the most troubled, complicated, and amazing kids by providing best-in-class psychiatric therapy and trauma-informed care, where we look kids in the eye, walk with them, and help them become their best selves.