My name is Raquel Schroeder. I’m Bristol Bay Yup’ik and St. Lawrence Island Yupik with family ties in Bristol Bay and the Bering Strait. I’m a member of the Curyung Tribe and a Shareholder of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation.
I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska and graduated from high school in 2010. I went to Wenatchee Valley College in Washington State and Iḷisaġvik Tribal College in Utqiaġvik, Alaska, where I earned a certificate in Early Childhood Indigenous Education. In this program, I learned the importance of culturally-responsive practices and the need for preservation of Indigenous cultures and languages.
I developed an interest in creating projects with art, design and technology that focus on Alaska Native cultures, languages and land. This is important to me because, as a mother and educator, I found there aren’t many easily-accessible resources that reflect the beauty of Alaska’s land and Indigenous peoples. With a lack of resources that reflect students’ environments, it can be difficult for them to find identity in learning, which may lead to social and academic issues in the long run. My goal is to celebrate and represent every student in the educational resources I create. Continue reading ‘My Passion: Creating Educational Resources that Celebrate Alaska Native Culture and Language’ by Raquel Schroeder
Alaska’s Heart through Student Art is an annual celebration of student expression that brings legislators, statewide educational leaders, students, teachers and artists together to celebrate the beauty, inspiration, and creativity of student artists across the state. The event is launched annually in the capital city of Juneau as statewide leaders gather for the legislative session.
More than 100 pieces of student art were meticulously packaged and shipped to the Alaska Council of School Administrators last winter and transported to the Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Museum. Carefully arranged and labeled in this beautifully appointed open gallery space in preparation for the March 2020 event that, as with so many other life events, became upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the past three years, students at the Paul Banks K-2nd Elementary School in Homer, Alaska have been spending part of their school week learning to play violin. The ‘Paul Banks Preludes’ program was inspired by the JAMM music program in Juneau, which itself was inspired by the El Sistema music program in Venezuela. Kindergarten and 1st grade students have violin sessions three times per week, while 2nd graders have optional after school sessions twice per week. The program is open to every student, including those with special needs.
Discovery Southeast is a Juneau-based non-profit that works in local public schools and provides professional development to educators. Their work “deepens our connection with nature through education and exploration. We introduce children and families to the outdoors, providing the foundation for lifelong interests, skills, and exploration. We promote a better understanding of ourselves, the natural world, and our place in it.” Discovery Southeast’s investment in public schools connects hundreds of school-age students to their local wild areas every school year. Continue reading ‘Respect and Awareness Within Our Local Landscapes’ by Sylvia Madaras at Discovery Southeast
“For anyone to grow up complete, art is imperative” – Paul Harvey
Alaska’s schools are beautiful. When you walk into any school, in any part of the state, you are met by not only the sights and sounds of students learning, but you are greeted by art. Supported by our unique, talented and dedicated Alaskan arts community, schools around the state are filled with paintings, photographs, sculptures, mosaics and objects that reflect the regional stories and landscapes of Alaska. Continue reading ‘The Inspiring Art of Alaska’s Schools’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN
Last summer, an empty room sat at the end of the hallway in Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School. Our team sat staring at the empty space, thinking of what we could do with the room. Possibilities were endless – maybe a place for additional offices, or a testing area. “We can always use more storage for books and materials,” claimed the Librarian. However, Molly Yerkes, Principal at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School had a greater vision in mind. Why don’t we give the Makerspace a more defined location (not just a table in the library). And thus, a creative space was born. Continue reading ‘Turning An Empty Space Into A Creative Place’ By Librarian/Teacher Luke Fortier at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School in Juneau