Exxon Mobil extends partnership with the Iditarod for the next five years


by Jessica Gruenling

ANCHORAGE, Ak-- The Iditarod is a huge tradition here in the last frontier, and its education program is helping to grow younger generations of Iditarod fans world wide. 

"It's perhaps the most exciting thing that we do on year round basis, what you saw here today at Huffman elementary is a snap shot of what's happening around the world in literally thousands of classrooms teachers have somehow adapted a history lesson, a math lesson, a geography lesson, a science lesson, and here at Huffman elementary a reading program that has somehow incorporated the Iditarod into it and teachers will tell you it stimulates the learning experience with kids and you saw a little bit of that excitement today," Stan Hooley, Executive Director, Iditarod.
Huffman Elementary, in Anchorage, is a partcipating school in the education program, and on Tuesday Exxon Mobil announced that they weill be extending their sponsorship of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race and education program for the next five years. 
"It is exciting news anytime we can extend a partnership that far out into the future makes us feel a little bit better about our stability as an organization the kind of things that we can do with in that fiver year period of time, relying on that funding to help this race grace and to also help the educational program grow as well," Hooley.
For the last five years Huffman Elementary has incorporated the Iditaread into its curriculum. Starting in February until mid March, student must read 1,049 minutes. Each morning depending on how many minutes they've read they move their huskies to the next check point. 
"I've had kids read for the first time a whole novel that they've never finished one before. Also to incorporate Iditarod we live in Alaska and a lot of kids if you grow up here sometimes you don't even realize all the things, how exciting it is. I think it gets them excited about something maybe they didn't know before and the check points they've heard the names before and now they're more familiar," Kelly Tirpack.

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