I hold an adamant belief that travel can be an invaluable, life-altering experience. Families that have the means to travel often see it as a luxury, and take for granted the incredible learning that they and their children gain. I work in an alternative high school – most of my students are from families that do not have anywhere near those kinds of means. Their experiences have been, in large part, a struggle and the larger world is mostly an abstraction – including the potential wonder and hope that it can hold. Monteverde, Costa Rica epitomizes that kind of wonder and hope – blending the culture of indigenous inhabitants with that of the American Quaker settlers that arrived in the 1950’s, and balancing a model of conservation with becoming an international eco-tourism destination. The book, Walking With Wolf, tells this story in a remarkable way.
We are now in the midst of a year-long interdisciplinary class that will include Walking With Wolf, student blogs (which I hope you'll check out on the right), individual research projects, and a 10-day trip to Monteverde this Spring. The students are working hard and must fundraise their entire way there - they need your help. If you are willing to support their efforts,
checks can be made out to “Lister Academy – Costa Rica Class”, and mailed to: Robert J. Lister Academy, Attn: Bryan Mascio, 35 Sherburne Road, Portsmouth, NH 03801.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stratham Fair

The students were fantastic at the Stratham Fair! From Thursday July 22nd through Sunday the 25th, our class had a fundraising booth at the Stratham Fair. Our booth sold jewelry, including design-your-own-earrings, and raffle tickets for 3 different raffles. It was a great success and all of the students went above and beyond - Josh and his mom made jewelry ahead of time; Dylan came the day before and helped set up; Mariah, Winston, Brittney and Kristine all learned how to make the earrings for people at the fair.

In addition to the students, we relied heavily on staff and friends of the school. First, there were parents - Josh's mom, Lee, put in almost as many hours as the kids; Kristine's mom, Deanna, made fantastic throw pillows that we sold; Dylan's foster mom, Deb handmade earrings for us. The staff also really came through - Ellen and her daughter Kate, Gina, Jess, Jody and Christine were indispensable. It was a pleasure to see Nancy and Erika at the fair, and Erika is helping to coordinate the lobster raffle. A big thanks to the friends and family that came by to purchase raffle tickets and support our efforts. I also can't give enough thanks to my wife, Carmela, who put in countless hours beforehand helping me plan, plus worked the vast majority of the fair.

This is one more step towards our fundraising goal.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Car Wash

We had a car wash last Saturday from 8-1 at the Middle Street Shell Station in Portsmouth. Many thanks to all those that came and supported our class. The students who attended - Winston, Dylan, Josh and Kristine - all did a fantastic job, as did Nancy and Carmela. Thanks to all for a big success.