Alderwood Elementary students win scholarship for trip to San Juans


BELLINGHAM - Fourth-graders at Alderwood Elementary School had an especially lucky day Monday, March 17.

The students jumped up and down, clapped and screamed when they found out Monday afternoon that they won a $915 scholarship toward a field trip to Lime Kiln Point State Park on San Juan Island.

"I really wanted to go to the San Juan Islands. I've never been there before and most of the class hasn't been there," student Harman Kaur said. "I haven't been this far on a trip."

Earlier this school year, the students helped put together a video entry for a National Park Trust contest to get funding for the trip. The students had been learning about the ocean, and substitute teacher Krista Gordon thought going there would let kids see those lessons in action.

"It's such a great connection to local science," she said of the trip. "That experience part is what really brings the learning to life."

At $1,400 to $1,600, the trip would have been too costly for many families to afford, so staff and students turned to the trust contest for help. The school's PTA will cover the remainder of the cost beyond the scholarship.

In the video, students talked about what they would like to learn on the trip, which will include a visit to The Whale Museum and a meeting with a whale researcher. Students said they were interested in learning about sea life and what time of year the whales come to the park and why. Some have never been on ferries and said they want to actually visit the island that they can see every day across the water.

Students Kevin Salas and Cristian Romero said winning the scholarship was a great surprise, and that they couldn't wait to see the whales. This will be the first field trip of the year for the students, who will take the Anacortes ferry to San Juan Island for their trip at the end of May.

"I feel really happy," student Kaihana Soeury said. "This is going to be new for all of us."


Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or

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