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. My class participated in our school and district Yup'ik Spelling Bee, and three of our students have qualified to participate at the state level. Unfortunately, with budget cuts, the district cannot afford to send them. If we are able to raise enough money for their travel (about $900 per student for the flight from our village to Anchorage), we will be able to have them participate.
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 students will be doing fundraisers at the school, including sponsoring a dance, having a bake sale, and possibly sponsoring a Pee-Wee Basketball Tournament. These will help, but not nearly enough to cover the airfare.
If we raise more than enough for the plane, the rest will go toward the hotel, food, and incidental expenses.
This is our first year participating in the Bee, and we were not anticipating even the possibility of doing so well at the district level. I would love to see these students recognized for their effort, and for the rest of the school to see the value in supporting the culture and language.
Thank you for any help you can provide. My students and I will be forever grateful!
- ellyn lundgren
- Chuck Arrsauyaq Herman
- Stephen Saiz
- Kim A