The small fishing village of Karluk, Alaska, went viral for a plea she made on social media asking for two families with three or four children to move to the remote village to save their local school.
Alicia Andrews, chairwoman of the Karluk Tribal Council, told the Washington Post who have been ‘bombarded’ with inquiries in recent days.
“For years, we’ve been trying to save our school and our community, and now it looks like we have a solution,” he said.
Council secretary/treasurer Kathryne Rust told Dailymail.com the attention has been “overwhelming, in a good way.”
If the village can increase its student population to 10, from the current two, it will qualify for state funding. That will give the two current students, a brother and sister ages 10 and 11, the opportunity to have certified peers and teachers.
The announcement said that families who want to move will have all their expenses paid for a year, including a three- or four-bedroom house and employment options in the town of 37 people.
The Karluk, Alaska tribal council created an ad that has since gone viral calling for two families to move to the remote fishing village.
Karluk is a town of just 37 people on the remote Alaskan island of Kodiak. He has been fighting for funds to keep his school building open.
Karluk lies along the western coast of Kodiak Island, which can be reached by a nearly 10-hour ferry ride from the Alaskan mainland, or two plane rides from Anchorage.
Other villages that have struggled to meet the 10-student minimum have recruited families from women’s and homeless shelters.
The council said it received nearly 5,000 responses from families across the country and some from other countries. Families will now receive official application forms which the council will attempt to process in the coming months.
An increase in the number of Karluk students will also save the Kodiak Island District from having to board up the local school building, which serves the community not only as a series of classrooms, but also as a gathering place for celebrations, a computer and an Internet center. , and a place where people spend the night when the houses cannot be heated.
The school building lost state funding in 2018 and, last month, lost municipal funding, leaving the fate of the building in the hands of the tribal council.
The council soon came to the conclusion that it is more financially viable to support two families for a period of one year than to keep the lights on in the school building indefinitely.
In 1890, Karluk had a population of more than 1,100 people, 50 percent of whom were Chinese, who came to the island as cannery workers to help process salmon.
In the last half century, however, the population has not exceeded 99 people.
Sustaining rural Alaskan communities like Karluk is becoming increasingly difficult, largely due to the changing nature of work and the rising cost of energy.
A side effect of the decline in rural life is that schools are rapidly losing funding.
“Once school closes, it feels like the town is on the brink,” said Dave Johnson, president of the Kodiak Island Township School District Board of Education.
‘I can’t blame anyone for trying an innovative approach to improve their children’s outcomes. Our people are desperate for creative solutions,” she said.
Karluk is a small Alaskan fishing village on an archipelago. It takes two flights from Anchorage or a 10-hour ferry from the mainland to reach Karluk
Alicia Andrews, chairwoman of the Karluk Tribal Council, said they have been ‘bombarded’ with inquiries in recent days.
In 1890, Karluk had a population of more than 1,100 people, 50 percent of whom were Chinese, who came to the island as cannery workers to help process salmon. In the last half century, however, the population has not exceeded 99 people.
Johnson added that the biggest struggle will probably be finding teachers who are willing and able to work in Karluk.
“That’s what keeps me up at night, finding the teacher,” he said. “Educators may agree to come, but many don’t even make it through the school year in a remote rural setting.”
That problem may or may not be a problem for Karluk this summer.
Rust says that several teachers have already inquired about coming to the remote city. Ideally, he said, a teacher with children would be an excellent candidate.