Yup'ik Spelling Bee Trip!
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!
Emiran won't be going with us, but Madison and Laci and another student qualified to attend a Science Camp in Hawaii the last week of school, and we will be going to Anchorage for the two days before that trip begins.
It will be just enough time to do the things we had planned - swim, explore, eat in a restaurant, watch a movie - and go shopping for some of the things we'll need in Hawaii, like flashlights and bathing suits and a pair of shoes for hiking.
I want to say quyana one more time. Thank you for making this possible.
Emiran was unable to make it this morning, so our original third place participant from the school bee came in as an alternate. Morris Jr. didn't place, but he had a great showing, and will certainly do well next year after a bit more practice.
Good news: The article on KYUK is up, and a link provided as promised:
Bad news: The weather was down all day, today, and despite several attempts to re-route and a last minute bit of hopefulness... we did not get out to Anchorage. We ate some consolation ice cream we had left over from
For those not from Alaska - "the weather was down" means, specifically, there was a low ceiling (we were actually fogged in most of the day) and the planes couldn't get to the village. It was so bad that the plane from Anchorage on the way to Unalakleet (the larger village connection from Kotlik to Anchorage for this trip) actually had to turn around and go back.
The hopeful: The Spelling Bee organizer is going to try to connect us in through Facebook Video Chat, if the internet here and at ANMC (Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, where the bee will be held) are both cooperative. If that doesn't work, we're still going to participate by phone. So the kids will still get to compete.
What this means:
*IF* one of our competitors takes a place at state, we will make a celebratory trip to Anchorage at the end of the school year.*
If not, we'll roll the money you donated, and most of what we raised, into a fund for next year. We know, now, that not only *should* we try to go a day or two early (we knew that from years of experience), we have permission from the district to do it. It'll be a little more expensive on the hotel and car end, but we'll have the benefit of having a greater window to get in should there be weather problems, and more time to explore when we get there.
I'll post again after the bee, tomorrow, and let you know how it went.
*Laci and Madison have both qualified to participate in a science camp in Hawaii the last week of school. The trip leaves the Sunday before school is over and returns the Sunday after. If they place at State, we're going to try to go to Anchorage on Friday before the camp. We haven't made any specific plans, so it's all just a hopeful idea bubble at this point.
The Spelling Bee is this weekend! We have all our forms and permission slips turned in and are getting excited!
We did an interview with KYUK ( http://kyuk.org ), but I don't know when the article will be posted. They may be waiting until after the bee itself. I'll let you know when it's up.
Great job! I am so proud to have helped such a worthy cause. I hope everyone had a great time!
I am floored! This is so amazing! We have now met the goal for airfare for the kids, and with what they've raised on their own, we only need another $1675!
Wow! Thank you all so much! I can't believe we're already 1/10 of the way to our goal. Quyana!