By Alex Rawlings--They're only in grades three and four, but they're off to the Olympics in a couple of weeks.
Thanks to the efforts of the Masset and Old Massett communities, a class of grade threes and fours from Chief Matthews School in Old Massett will attend the winter Olympics.
"We had a tremendous fundraiser last night (Jan. 21), at (Chief Matthews School), it was a loonie auction and talent show...we raised about $1,600," said Sherri Burton, teacher at Chief Matthews school. "The community really came through for the kids, and we will be going to the Olympics next month as a result," she said.
The idea of a field trip to Vancouver during the winter games sprouted last year during staff meetings, and principal Leslie Bellis spear-headed the project by writing letters seeking donations from businesses and individuals.
"Leslie really took this on, and she is quite humble about her efforts," said Ms Burton, "she has put a lot of time into this."
The trip, planned for the week of February 15, will take the 18 kids, three teachers and seven chaperones on an educational adventure full of activities meant to complement the classroom curriculum. Ms Burton said social studies, science and arts will be learned through the group's daily activities, while the language component will come from journal writing.
"The whole trip fits perfectly into the curriculum. The students will get to spend their first night at the Vancouver Aquarium as a sleep over, then we will see an Olympic hockey game between Finland and Belarus on the 17th and we will attend the awards ceremony that night," said Ms Burton. "We will also be visiting the Museum of Anthropology, and hopefully the HR MacMillan Space Centre as well."
The students have been invited to participate in celebrations at the Artisan Village on International Indigenous Day Feb. 18, where they will perform a couple of Haida songs to the crowd.
"It is really exciting, I never thought I'd get to go, and here we are, going. This is a great opportunity for everyone," said Ms Burton.