Hello from Nikolai, Alaska! Top of the Kuskokwim School is a very small school in rural Alaska. We only have 14 students in preschool through 10th grade. The entire community consists of about 80 people. Life in Nikolai is very different than life in many other places, especially those not in rural Alaska. Students and their families rely heavily on subsistence hunting and fishing (moose, birds, salmon) to keep their families fed. Food and living expenses are very expensive. There are very few jobs within the community to support those who live here but everyone helps their neighbors and makes sure that children and elders have what they need to get by. We are planning to join other schools from our district on a weeklong 4th grade field trip to Anchorage at the end of April. This trip is going to be a unique experience for our 4th graders, who rarely get to leave the village and experience life outside the village. We plan to take our students to the Zoo, the Conservation Center, the Iditarod Headquarters, a dog kennel, the Seward Sea Life Center, a trampoline park, and a museum. Students will also learn how to order in restaurants and pay for their own meals, as well as how to make small purchases in stores. Coming from such a small community, we need a lot of help with making this happen for our students. Each student needs to have approximately $900 for trip expenses and another $500 for travel expenses. That is $1400 per student. With five 4th grades, our total needed to make this trip happen is approximately $7000. We have been fundraising throughout the year but there is only so much available money within our community that can be spared for extras such as a school trip. The money raised through GoFundMe will help with travel expenses, hotels, food, and admission prices to the various activities planned throughout the trip. Any funds beyond what are needed will be used to enhance the trip for our students by helping them purchase souvenirs and possibly adding a few more activities to the trip.
Any help that you can give would be greatly appreciated by our students, families, and teachers. Thank you for your support!