A Walk In Their Shoes, Nanuaka Valley Elementary

It was no ordinary morning walk for people in Nunaka Valley today. Your Alaska Link’s La’shawn Donelson shows us: the purpose of this walk was to prove how difficult things will be if one elementary school closes. 

Parents and community members gathered at Nunaka Valley Elementary School. They came to experience the walk students would have to make if their school closes as a part of a plan to help reduce Anchorage school district’s $68 million dollar deficit. In the early hours of the morning, parents and community members gathered to walk in the students shoes.

“We organized, uh, two walks, one to each of the schools that children who are at Nunaka Valley Elementary would be going to if the school was closed.”

One parent says the route is concerning.

“Concerned about safety. I’m concerned about, you know, the route itself and the kids being visible and the distance they’re being asked to walk. And, you know, I’m very interested in in finding out.”

Your Alaska Link went on a 35 minute walk to Russian Jack Elementary. This is the same route suggested by the Anchorage School District. Many community members worry about conditions.

“There’s no protection from the from vehicles. You’re right next to vehicles driving by at 45 miles plus.”

“It was icy. The sidewalk wasn’t paved very well along northern lights.”

“It’s it’s icy, dark cold in the winter. There are homeless camps in the area. We have bear and moose on a regular basis in this neighborhood. The sidewalks are not always plowed.”

Members of the Anchorage School District Leadership Team were invited to participate, however, were not able to attend. To learn more about Nunaka Valley Elementary School, possible closure and how to get involved, you can visit savenunaka.net.

La’shawn Donelson Your Alaska Link