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.

Monday, January 17, 2011

We're So Excited!

In full disclosure, I do have the Pointer Sisters' song echoing in my mind as I write this post. I am so excited, and we all have lots to be excited about. The students at the Lister Academy continue to work incredibly hard and we have taken several big steps closer to our goal. Almost all of the students have received their passports - something that few had even considered getting otherwise. We have also purchased our airline tickets - leaving early in the morning on Wednesday, April 6th and returning even earlier in the morning on Sunday, April 17th. Additionally, we have arranged for our accommodations while in Monteverde - see my earlier post on Cabanas Valle Campanas.

The students have finished reading Walking With Wolf, and are starting to decide on their research projects that will dominate the spring semester and dictate our itinerary while in Costa Rica. We were also thrilled to be featured in the Portsmouth Herald this past Friday, with a great article by Jennifer Feals. In the article, we share our current status and plans for finishing our fundraising. We have a fundraiser at Papa Ginos in Portsmouth this coming Thursday night - just print out the flyer pictured here if you can come and support us. We'll also be doing a Costa Rica dinner mid-February - details to come.

I hope that you have been checking out the student blogs, and may consider a donation at our website, to help the students cross that finish line.

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