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Alaska: Learn, Serve & Immerse in 2021

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Alaska, USA TBC $2450 per person

Overview

Join Global Family Travels on our 6-day Alaska Learn, Serve & Immerse trip to explore Alaska’s Interior frontier communities, cultural heritage, and unparalleled natural beauty. Global Family Travels’ tour includes opportunities to contribute to promoting and enhancing literacy through a unique, interactive series of events and activities with local children. 

Join us for a unique Interior Alaska adventure that captures the rich culture and history of the 49th state, with stunning scenery and wildlife every step of the way. 

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS are below, click on ITINERARY to see all the details.

COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS

With the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the health and safety of Global Family Travels’ travelers, community partners, colleagues and guides are of paramount importance to us. Our COVID-19 Safety Protocols, which can be found under Tasks section, outlines our commitment to mitigate and manage the risks associated with COVID-19 when you travel with us.  You can find more detailed information on our website COVID-19 and Travel, and please also refer to the tasks which has specific details for your activity and destination.  

 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about these protocols or your tour.   Thank you for helping to keep yourself and fellow travelers and guides safe!   

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Global Family Travels

Global Family Travels’ mission is to “Learn, Serve and Immerse,” using travel as a means to build cultural bridges and to foster global citizens.  In partnership with community-based tour partners, schools and non-profit organizations, we offer family-friendly, sustainable travel experiences in support of education, preservation of local cultures, conservation and economic growth, which foster cross-cultural understanding and global citizens.  

Our trips include a unique mix of cultural and educational activities, homestays and participation in local service projects aimed at improving the lives of people in the communities we visit. Visit our website to learn more: https://www.globalfamilytravels.com/.

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LEARN:

At Global Family Travels, we believe the most powerful way to learn is through hands-on experiences. We let the destination and its people be your teachers, and supplement experiences with reading lists, informal discussions, and a pre-trip orientation to better equip families with the practical information they need to understand the culture, history, and industry of their host destination.

While Alaska is indeed part of the United States, there are unique nuances to life in a place with summertime daylight lasting almost 24 hours, and backyards opening to hundreds of miles of untamed wilderness.

Learning themes unique to Alaska’s Interior itinerary include:

  • Alaska geography, climate, and related environmental issues
  • Athabascan culture and history
  • Alaska culture and history
  • Alaska flora and fauna
  • The world of “dog mushing” (sled dogs)
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SERVE:

Guests will play an active role in efforts to enhance Alaska literacy rates and a love of books through multiple activities in partnership with Read On the Fly and Best Beginnings Alaska. A StoryTracks event will encourage both exercise and reading with a trailside independent story time for children in the communities of Fairbanks and Healy.

Read On the Fly is an airport-based, free book project in Fairbanks, and guests will assist guide Erin Kirkland to label, sort, and restock shelves upon their arrival in Fairbanks.

As part of this project, we suggest a donation of $200 toward the addition of bookshelves in rural Alaska airports, and the continuation of the StoryTracks model in other communities.

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IMMERSE:

Growing up in Alaska is an opportunity currently enjoyed by a mere 180,000 children. These kids experience aspects of daily life unknown by most American kids.  Hunting, fishing, mushing, and outdoor recreation are often within the boundaries of their own backyards and beyond[1] . It’s a unique combination of self-reliance and play unlike any other place in America. Guests will have an opportunity to connect with local kids in ordinary (and not-so-ordinary) places as they come to understand the universal language of childhood, even in the Far North.

 

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Erin Kirkland, Your Guide

Alaska freelance writer and award-winning community innovator Erin Kirkland has spent a lifetime exploring the outdoors and traveling; first as a child with her forester father and flight attendant mother in the Pacific Northwest, then with her own children. A 13-year resident of Alaska, Erin’s Alaska On the Go guidebooks are considered required reading for anyone planning an Alaska adventure with children; and her website AKontheGO.com was the first resource completely dedicated to kids, Alaska, and those destinations offering familykid-friendly activities. She currently serves as an ambassador for youth and family outdoor recreation activities for Alaska State Parks and is a highly desired youth guide for several Alaska tourism companies.

Erin and her family have driven, flown, sailed, cycled, and mushed every region of Alaska. She enjoys road trips, camping, and traveling aboard Alaska ferries, where life is slow, internet connections are few, and the scenery is ever-changing.  

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TRIP SUMMARY

Join Global Family Travels and Alaska expert, Erin Kirkland, for an itinerary based upon

Interior Alaska’s frontier communities, cultural heritage, and unparalleled natural beauty. Global Family Travels’ Learn, Serve & Immerse itinerary for “Alaska’s Interior” includes opportunities to contribute toward promoting and enhancing literacy through a unique, interactive series of events and activities with local children.

During the trip, guests will participate in an innovative project founded by your guide, Erin Kirkland. Read On the Fly is an all-volunteer initiative placing bookshelves in Alaska airports for children to choose a free book while they travel. All books are donated and there is no expectation from a child to return the book; it is theirs to keep. Currently, Read On the Fly supports 132 bookshelves in seven Alaska airports around the state.

Participants on this trip will volunteer on a second project utilizing tools provided by Best Beginnings Alaska, an early-childhood organization providing information and books to young children around the state. Guests will be engaged in a series of StoryTracks sessions that weave the outdoors and reading into an active, trail-based experience.

Learn more about StoryTracks here.

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About Interior Alaska

Interior Alaska is the central region of the state, bordered by the rugged Alaska Range (including North America’s highest peak, Denali) and the Brooks Range to the north. It’s Alaska’s heartland, with vast herds of caribou wandering the landscape and a history of gold mining, trapping, and farming the rich, fertile valleys near Fairbanks, Alaska’s second-largest city. The Athabascan People have lived in the Interior for millennia, thriving at summer fish camps and winter villages where they trapped furs and hunted moose, caribou, and smaller mammals.

This center point of Alaska’s geography is a perfect place to learn about past and present life in this harsh environment and take advantage of the many recreational opportunities in and around Denali National Park, Alaska’s most popular and most accessible national park. It’s an outdoor playground like none other, and we welcome your family to experience life in the Last Frontier.

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LITERACY IN ALASKA - WHY IT MATTERS

Alaska’s literacy rates are alarming; students in grade four are ranked among the lowest in the United States, often due to a lack of access to books in by Alaska’s rural communities to provide books in residents’ homes, community centers, and sometimes, schools of rural Alaska. Studies show that when children are actively encouraged to read, they do better in all areas facets of daily lifelife.

Many children in rural Alaska do not have access to age-appropriate books outside of a classroom, or adults who will cooperatively engage in reading with their children or grandchildren. These kids, often living in isolated communities far from a road system, rely upon aircraft to access medical care, shopping and sporting events for themselves, and their families. While technology has brought an influx of electronic media to these kids’ lives, it has also detracted from one of life’s most important skills -- reading.

Best Beginnings has supported Read On the Fly in efforts to establish bookshelves in all Alaska airports to provide children age 0-18 with opportunities for free books to keep, and pass along, to other kids in both small and large Alaska communities.

It is the mission of Best Beginnings Alaska and Read On the Fly to help build a community that demonstrates support for children and their families. It takes investments of time, effort, and resources to raise future stewards of Alaska in an environment in which they can thrive. Your participation will make a difference.

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DAILY SUMMARY

Day 1: Arrive at Fairbanks International Airport, where we are greeted by our tour escort, Erin Kirkland, and take part in  Take part in volunteering with the Read On the Fly Program.  Welcome Dinner.

Day 2: First, enjoy a guided tour of the Fountainhead Antique Auto & Fashion Museum, followed by a picnic lunch and reading with the Reindeer Program, and learn about StoryTracks and Best Beginnings, , our non-profit partnersr we will be working with. Evening presentations feature natureof natural journals.

Day 3: Morning exploration into the culture of the Alaska Nnative peoples at the Morris Thompson Cultural Center; hands on with bead work designs.  Presentation about ‘Living in the land of the Midnight Sun - Growing up Alaskan’ following dinner.  

Day 4: Take the iconic Alaska Railroad from Fairbanks to Denali National Park, enjoying breakfast onboard. Upon arrival, check out visit the Denali National Park Visitors Center and Murie Science & Learning Center for a park  Denali National Park orientation. An Evening Campfire Program with our Denali National Park hosts.

Day 5: StoryTracks program, lunch and then a visit with the nation's only canine ranger force at the Denali National park sled dog kennel.  canine athletes at a sled dog kennel!  Evening gold rush dinner theater program.

Day 6: Travel from Denali National Park for lunch at Calypso Farm and Ecology Centeran area farm today in the tiny community of Esterrural Alaska before transferring to Fairbanks International Airport.

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Location
Alaska, USA
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