Together they achieved what others called impossible.
In this Alaskan Stand and Deliver, a nationally acclaimed teacher and award-winning novelist shares a poignant and inspiring true story that shatters our preconceived notions of education in this country.
In 1982 George Guthridge set out with his wife and two young daughters to a small village on the edge of remote blizzard-swept St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. It is one of the harshest and most remote places in Alaska.
He was there to teach at a Siberian-Yupik school so troubled
it was under threat of closure. But George didn't know that.
Like many other teachers hired to work in Alaskan villages,
he had accepted the position thinking about adventure and about
the great pay.
In The Kids from Nowhere: The Story Behind the Arctic Educational Miracle, (Alaska Northwest Books®, November, 2006) George tells the story of his own transformation and that of his students when they are
entered into one of the nation's most difficult academic competitions.
Working with few resources and with a group of students who are
bright but lack focus and training, George adapts, motivates,
and coaches. The students face emotional and academic difficulties
that stagger the imagination. In their quest to win, they overcome
fire, personal tragedy, and prejudice. They compete against teams
from schools of the gifted on subjects -- such as genetic
engineering and nuclear waste disposal -- that the Eskimo
students have never heard of. They study while hauling water
and hunting whales, even go three days without sleep -- after
being exhausted from the spring walrus hunt.
But they prevail: they become the only team of
Native Americans in U.S. history ever to win a national championship
in academics. And they do so twice.
Hilarious, disturbing, densely atmospheric, and packed with surprises at every
turn, The Kids from Nowhere is a powerful, poignant story that
will make you want to cry and cheer at the same time.