Stories

Exchange Impact

The Sister School Exchange has been operating for over 17 years. The exchange was created because tensions between rural and urban Alaskans were on the rise. Out of these miss understanding lawmakers worked together to put aside funds specifically targeting bringing rural and urban Alaskans closer together. The exchange has changed slightly in format over the years, but the core still remains the same. At the end of the exchange students, educators, and community members all gain a greater appreciation of each others' community. Gifts are exchanged, jokes swapped, and friendships are formed. To date the Sister School Exchange has involved over 114 communities in 30 different school distri

On The Exchange

Teams are starting to travel! So far we have had exchanges to Toksook Bay, Eek, Fairbanks, Colony, and Manokotak. More are heading out soon! Team from Juneau getting ready to board their first plane as they head to Eek. (By the end of the day, they had been on three different planes.) Representing Your Community Before teams head out they prepare by spending time discussing how to represent their community well. They talk about what good hosting looks like as well as how a cultural ambassador acts while on the exchange. Here are some cartoons of what you should and shouldn't do while on an exchange. Reflections While on exchange students write reflections of their experience. Below are

History Comes to Life...with Your Help!

Gwendolyn MacLean, a 7th grader at Mears Middle School in Anchorage, dug into her own family history to find a topic for last year’s National History Day competition. Her performance, "My Language, My Culture: Edna MacLean Takes a Stand to Preserve Iñupiaq Language" tells the story of MacLean's grandmother, Edna MacLean, who created the first Iñupiaq to English dictionary. "She grew up in an environment where her native language was kind of put down as a shame to be speaking so they enforced English upon them,” explains MacLean. “And so she ended up becoming a teacher of Iñupiaq and she decided to create an Iñupiaq to English dictionary. My grandmother dedicated her life to saving the Iñupia

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