I teach in a small village in rural Alaska. Most of our students are Yup'ik Eskimo, and one of our challenges is keeping their culture alive. This year, my class was involved with Educators Rising - a program whose goal is to engage high school students in the field of education. Educators Rising held a competition called Inside Our Schools, in which students were asked to explain a program or facet unique to their school.
My students created a presentation about why integrating culture in the classroom is essential for student success and entered the statewide competition.
They took first place and have qualified to attend the National Conference in Orlando in June.
Because travel is so expensive, most of our students don't get to leave the village, and an opportunity to travel for a school trip does not come along very often.
The basic cost of the trip (airfare, hotel, and conference fees) will be covered by the Educators Rising program, however, the students would like to be able to see more of Orlando than the hotel. We would like to extend our stay by three days in order to visit at least one theme park and swim in the ocean.
For the state competition, the students were not given any spending money, and all of their meals came out of my pocket. I was happy to do it, but I can't afford to do that, twice.
The students will be doing fundraisers at the school, including having a bake sale, selling ice cream at our school store, and making and selling native crafts. These will help, but not nearly enough to cover the costs we are expecting.
Thank you for any help you can provide. My students and I will be forever grateful!
- Megan Lewis
- Karyl Fulkerson
- Angela Andrews
- Debbie Matsuura