As I reflect on my time as the 2016 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™, I will always be grateful to the remarkable village teachers that helped me during my journey. In Nikolai, I spent a lot of time with Ms. Tara Wiggins and her wonderful students at the Top of the Kuskokwim school. Her generosity helped me so much during my stay at the checkpoint, and I wanted to show my appreciation to her and all the Nikolai villagers who were so gracious.
Currently, there are 16 students ranging from Pre-K to 12th grade in the school, which has enabled them to have two teachers; however, one teacher must live at the school due to a lack of housing in this small village. This is only one of many sacrifices that teachers make working and living in such remote areas in Alaska.
As I prepare to pack up my classroom, I thought about Tara and her students, and what I could do to help them. When I walked through her class the first time, I loved the charming watercolor paintings that hung on the walls, and we talked about the challenges of having art supplies for these special projects in a place such as Nikolai. I asked Tara if I could send her brand-new art supplies for next year, and she was thrilled. I thought about all the teachers and Iditarod fans that read these posts and wanted to share this opportunity for others to give back as well.
If you are a teacher packing up your classroom this week and you have art supplies that are brand new and never used, or you are an Iditarod fan who wants to support the villages along the trail, please consider making a donation of supplies or books. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
It is the support of many village teachers along the trail that help the Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™ post and share about the race with so many, so I hope you will join me in supporting them!
Please send only new supplies – these children deserve the best!