Tour for graduates
Kugluktuk students to visit Europe

Malcolm Gorrill
Northern News Services

Kugluktuk ( May 15/00) - One of the many benefits of finishing high school in Kugluktuk is the opportunity to go to Europe.

"It's a stay-in-school project for students," said Derryk Fleming, a social studies teacher at Kugluktuk high school.

"There's a high drop-out rate among students, especially in the springtime.

"This is a project that we have. There's 13 students, and sort of the reward by staying in school for the last two years and graduating, it means they get to experience some of the things they learned by taking courses like social studies."

An upcoming trip to Europe is designed to provide valuable "life experience" to 13 students.

Fleming is one of the organizers of the Europe 2000 project at the school.

"Nearly all our students have no life experiences outside of the Arctic," Fleming explained.

"A few of our graduates this year have the potential to go on to post-secondary education, whether it be university or taking a trade or college. We're trying to give them some life experience that otherwise they would not receive."

Most of the students are from Kugluktuk, but also going on the trip are one student each from Holman, Cambridge Bay, Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet.

About half the members will graduate this year.

The trip gets under way July 3. The first stop is England, where the group will see a Shakespearean play performed in Stratford.

"From there they're going to France. In France, they're going to have the opportunity to see the Palace of Versailles."

Fleming pointed out that the French Revolution is part of the students' curriculum.

The group will then visit Venice and Rome in Italy, which will fit into their Renaissance and Imperial Rome studies.

From there it is on to Switzerland and then to Vienna, Austria.

"On the last leg of the trip they'll be going to Germany," Fleming said.

The group will spend five days at a university in Frankfurt, Germany, before flying home around July 25.

The Kugluktuk group will be travelling with students from three other schools (they will all meet up in London).

Those students are from schools in Massachussetts, California and Washington.

Fleming said the project got going about two years ago. Since then students and staff at Kugluktuk high have raised more than $30,000.

"We held bingos and dances and did a lot of catering for a number of government functions," he said.

"We painted the day care, the outside of the day care, the students have done store inventories for Co-op," Fleming said.

"They've done a lot of manual labour to fund-raise."

The group also has some corporate sponsorship.