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In Your Words: Selawik students get involved in their community

October 14th, 2016 | Dana Orton, Davis-Ramoth School Print this article   Email this article  

"It takes a village to raise a child." This is especially true in remote Alaskan villages. Davis-Ramoth Memorial School has been teaming up with community partners this school year to make a difference for students. By working together, each student is being given a chance to become Selawik Strong!

In September, the Selawik School teamed up with the IRA and Fish and Wildlife to host culture camp for first-through-seventh-graders. Students were able to spend a day with their teachers, community members, and elders learning Inupiaq traditional skills and values. Students traveled the river to camp where they fished and picked berries.

Many of the high school biology class students were able to experience Caribou Collaring with the Fish and Wildlife and Parks Service in September. Students traveled to Onion Portage where they were able to help the governmental agency collar caribou as they crossed the river.

"It was good to go out. We would get up early and wait on the caribou. We pulled up next to them and put the collars on making sure the screws were tight. We also would swab their noses and weigh the calves," explained Kevin Ballot, 10th grade student.

Davis-Ramoth experienced an exceptionally high turnout to their Back to School Night and Barbecue. Over 500 hundred community members, student and families turned out to enjoy food on the back deck. The Selawik IRA provided the chefs for the event. The barbecue was followed by an open house for parents and students.

High school English classes have been reaching out to younger students in the elementary by providing reading buddies to all interested classes. High school students visit with students from lower grades on a weekly basis. Students read to their buddies, sitting on the floor or at tables, sharing their favorite books.

"My students look forward to their reading buddy time. They are even willing to leave the lunchroom early to finish their lunches while the seniors read to them," noted LeeAnn Peterson, fifth-grade teacher.

The Selawik IRA Wellness Committee has been actively partnering with the school this fall. The committee has provided the students with a guest speaker, water bottles, reflectors, and many opportunities to be active and healthy.

As the year continues to move forward, Davis-Ramoth Memorial School will continue to work with community members and organizations to provide opportunities for their students. With many more events planned, the school hopes to build a happy and healthy environment for their students to thrive and the community to become Selawik Strong!

Dana Orton is the Davis-Ramoth School English teacher.


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