Dakota Memorial School

Never Give Up

Never Give Up

The Senior Banquet is truly a wonderful experience for our graduates. They invite a table full of family and friends for a delicious meal. Then teachers take turns reading biographies of each student and sharing stories that highlight these great kids. Some stories brought tears to my eyes, some made me laugh, but in all of them, I saw mutual care and respect.…

Read More

Seeing Through a Different Lens

Seeing Through a Different Lens

When Adam, a Dakota Memorial School (DMS) day student, took his first art class a couple of years ago, he fell in love with photography.…

Read More

Graduation from Dakota Memorial School

Graduation from Dakota Memorial School

Like every other child, our Ranch kids are excited for the end of the school year. This week is graduation! We have six young men and women graduating from Dakota Memorial School (DMS) and we are honored to help them celebrate.…

Read More

A Tale of Two Graduates

A Tale of Two Graduates

Shawn and Maddie share their inspiring stories--how they came to the Ranch, the barriers that got in their way, their ultimate success, and their plans. Read their stories of courage and perseverance.…

Read More

American Crystal Sugar Company Funds Purchase of STEM Equipment

American Crystal Sugar Company Funds Purchase of STEM Equipment

American Crystal Sugar Company granted $5,000 to Dakota Memorial School (DMS), the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, to underwrite the purchase of tools and equipment to teach four science units (Weather, Aquaponics and Aquaculture, Ecology—Water Quality, and Genetics).…

Read More

Responding to Trauma in the Classroom

Responding to Trauma in the Classroom

I’ve always known “Trauma-Sensitive Classroom” was an important concept in education, but I wasn’t exactly sure what it looked like in my lesson plans or day-to-day interactions with students. I’m going into the teaching field, and I consider myself a nice person—that should be enough to indicate that I’m considerate to students and their trauma, right? Wrong. My assumptions of what it means to react to student behaviors in a trauma-sensitive manner were way off base.…

Read More

Voices of Healing: The English Teacher Diaries

Voices of Healing: The English Teacher Diaries

When I walked into my classroom at Dakota Memorial School before school started, it hit me that this is the beginning of my career. This is where all the conversations start, “Well my first year as a teacher...” I feel a combination of ready to go and ready to run away. I’m both eager and terrified. I feel a huge weight to make an impact and be a superhero for my students. Knowing myself and my flaws, I feel as though I have already let them down.…

Read More

Young Woman Writes Story of Healing and Accomplishment

Young Woman Writes Story of Healing and Accomplishment

Writing can be a powerful tool to help kids heal.…

Read More

Children are back to school at the Ranch

Children are back to school at the Ranch

We excitedly celebrated the first day of school last week. As you know, Dakota Memorial School is its own school district with educational facilities on the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch’s Bismarck, Fargo, and Minot campuses. Our School Superintendent, Marcia Bartok, answers a few questions about Dakota Memorial School.…

Read More

It Only Takes a Spark

It Only Takes a Spark

I love the energy of the new school year. But, I realized going back to school is not so exciting for everyone when I shared a lunch table with one of our kids (I will call him Allan) on the 4th day of school. He was talking about his school experience, which was filled with negativity. Allan told me school was a waste of time because people in his family don’t graduate. When I asked why he would say that, Allan said, “That’s just the way it is.”…

Read More

Sanford Health Donates $15,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Sanford Health Donates $15,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch received $15,000 from Sanford Health towards the cost of health and wellness programs and classes at Dakota Memorial School. Health and wellness are important to the healing of children at DMS, and this donation will help fund programs that teach the children lifelong healthy habits.…

Read More

Wildlife Club changes lives

Wildlife Club changes lives

Wildlife Club is good for Ranch kids on many levels. Probably it’s most important result is that it gives our kids a sense of belonging. All people have a need to belong, and belonging is something our kids usually lack—or they’ve belonged to a negative peer group.…

Read More

Graduation and Beyond

Graduation and Beyond

At graduation this week, one of our graduates said he never thought he would finish school—but then he came to Dakota Memorial School (DMS), the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. He stood in front of a roomful of people—all there to celebrate his accomplishments, and thanked the teachers and staff at the Ranch for helping him make it to this moment. As he gave his grandmother a hug, her eyes filled with tears. She knew as well as anyone how hard he’d worked to reach this moment.…

Read More

Provide a Ranch child with support and hope for the future

Provide a Ranch child with support and hope for the future

In just a few weeks, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch will celebrate the graduation of 10 high school seniors! That may not seem like a large class. And for a regular public school, it wouldn’t be. But, for a school the size of the Ranch, with kids who have worked so hard and battled great odds, ten graduates is a really big deal!…

Read More

Keeping Kids in the Classroom

For many of the students at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, school has been a difficult experience. This is especially true for students who haven’t developed coping skills to work through their intense emotions. In most school environments, classes are large and the easiest way to deal with disruptive behavior is to remove kids from the classroom. Removing them from the classroom causes them to miss essential learning opportunities, which puts them at an increased risk for continued failure. So, at Dakota Memorial School (DMS), we strive to keep kids in the classroom as much as possible.…

Read More

Ranch Receives Grant from Sanford Health

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch received a $5,000 grant from Sanford Health to fund the Health and Wellness programs at Dakota Memorial School (DMS), the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.…

Read More

Cops and Kids

Cops and Kids

Police officers from Ward County Sheriff’s Office, Minot Police Department, McLean County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Dakota Highway Patrol played softball with Ranch kids and staff on Fun Day, an event we hold for our kids the day after the last day of school. We didn’t tell the kids our guests were police officers until the end of the game, and the looks on their faces when the officers introduced themselves was priceless.…

Read More

Graduation Day at Dakota Memorial School

Graduation Day at Dakota Memorial School

Tomorrow is graduation day at Dakota Memorial School, the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. This year, we have three graduates on our Minot campus. One of these graduates is Anthony. Anthony has made a lot of decisions and changes in his short time at the Ranch. He says it's because his teachers and other Ranch staff believed in him and showed him his capabilities.…

Read More

Children Express Pain, Healing, and Hope Through Music

Children Express Pain, Healing, and Hope Through Music

Through an Artist-in-Resident grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, we were able to bring Dr. Monte Selby to our Fargo campus to work with Ranch kids on writing their own songs. Selby, a musician, songwriter, author and educator, spent a week at Dakota Memorial School (the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch), working with the students to write their own lyrics and put them to music. In their songs, our kids shared their stories, their pain, and their healing.…

Read More

The Healing Magic of Songwriting

The Healing Magic of Songwriting

Through an Artist-in-Resident grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, Dr. Monte Selby spent a week at Dakota Memorial School, Fargo. Selby gives students the opportunity to express their emotions and future aspirations through songwriting. Writing their own music provides a bridge for many of our kids to be creative and expressive with their voices in the world.…

Read More

Lifting Kids Up With Art

Lifting Kids Up With Art

Alana Wilhelm, art teacher at Dakota Memorial School, uses the power of art to inspire and heal children at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. Many Ranch kids are able to express their perspective, ideas, and feelings through visual metaphors and concepts in color, shape, and line--even when they are unable to express those feelings in words.…

Read More