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2196 Miles to Go

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Lacey Buxton, Stetson McElhaney, Kandice Daniels and Nathan Christensen are ready to hit the road. Photo by Moranda Becker Lacey Buxton, Stetson McElhaney, Kandice Daniels and Nathan Christensen are ready to hit the road. Photo by Moranda Becker

The CFHS Academic Decathlon team and Spanish II students are determined to reach Mexico City

The sage Saint Augustine wrote that “the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Oh, to see the world! This is the goal of twenty-five students at Clark Fork High School, most of whom have only read a single page—some having never traveled more than one state away from home.

Students in Academic Decathlon and Spanish 2 classes are trying to raise money to allow them to travel to Mexico City. Why Mexico City? First, it is the cultural, political, economic, and historical center of our neighbor to the south. Here is where students can visit museums (over 160!), see notable architectural landmarks (¡El Zócalo!), experience Aztec ruins (Tenochtitlan), and interact with Mexican people. Second, Mexico itself has been the special area of study for this year’s Academic Decathlon competitions. It is one thing to study about a foreign country and its people, and another thing entirely to actually visit—to see, to hear, to smell, to talk, to fully experience that country. Of course, Spanish 2 students will be able to flex and exercise their linguistic muscles as North Idaho is not exactly a hot-bed of cultural diversity. ¡Qué chévere!

A trip to Mexico will also offer these students a view on the world that is beyond any previous experiences. Mexico City is the third largest city in the world, with over 19 million inhabitants, many of whom are very poor. Our students will see contrasting wealth and poverty and environmental conditions that will literally take their breath away! Imagine how such an exposure will help to shape their view of themselves as individuals and as Americans. These are things that can not be learned from a book or video presentation.

Students have been working since this summer to raise much of the money themselves. Unfortunately, the costs are greater than a part-time or after-school job can provide. That is where you can play a part. Your donation is kindly solicited and appreciated. We cannot make this trip without your help—¡Gracias! And here is something else to keep in mind. In the state of Idaho, donations to public schools qualify for a tax credit of up to 50 percent of the donation, for a maximum $100 tax credit for a single taxpayer, or $200 for those filing jointly, or $1,000 for corporations. This is in addition to the federal and state tax deductions for donations. (See your accountant for details). ¿Es una buena idea, ¡no?

The River Journal Kicks it Off
Join in the challenge! The River Journal is sponsoring the first five miles of the trip. Can you sponsor, too? Just call 208-266-1131. Don’t forget, your donation qualifies for both a tax deduction AND an Idaho tax credit.


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Landon Otis

Tagged as:

Lake Pend Oreille School District, Clark Fork High School, Academic Decathlon, Spanish, Mike Turnlund, field trip

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