Alaskan Villagers Prepare for Trip of A Lifetime

A school teacher in the Alaskan Bush encourages her k-12 students to dream BIG; planning a field trip to the lower 48. A film crew from Santa Barbara, California will document the historic journey. Please visit this site for frequent updates on their progress.

A Dream Come True

Club 33 was such a treat

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Here is a link to the most recent story about the kids and the screening of Alaska Dreams from Alaska

Here is a link to the most recent story about the kids and the screening from Alaska Dispatch. Helping Alaska kids succeed is a moral choice, not a political one. The author of the articles about the Stony River kids shares in page two of this article that he's gotten unhappy comments from people from his first article. He says, "Many have generously donated and have been supporting the effort. For that, thanks so much. However, it seems whenever we’ve tried to promote this particular effort, the comment boards light up with negativity. “Why should we pay for these kids to go on a field trip? Why are they so special?” is the general tone of some. And another: “Why don’t Alaska Native corporations pay for them?” And yet another: “What are the Natives going to do for me?”Reading these comments has been one of the more eye-opening experiences I’ve had since launching Alaska Dispatch. The director (Michael Warner from Pacific Sun Productions) who chronicled the Stony River field trip last year to South California says we should talk about the high rates of teen suicide in rural Alaska and how field trips expose kids who don’t always see a lot of hope in their own communities to a larger world – that there are opportunities beyond the villages.I think he is right. The author then goes on to tell of his own experience with Alaska native teens and suicide. I want you to know that this is my concern too. I realize this is a heavy topic, so I have steered away from it until now, but I am glad he brought this up because you need to know that it is something that is a deep concern for many adults in Alaska, both white and native, because of the high rates of native teen and young adult suicide in Alaska. I believe that helping kids succeed in this way will make an incredible life long positive change for them because Debi has modeled how to work to make dreams come true against all odds and because our help tells the children: "We think you are valuable! We care about you! We're cheering for you. " These trips are for more than 'fun' or even 'educational.'It's a life line, don't you see?!

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