Today Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy announced a statewide list of educational programs and institutions that will be funded with GEER II money. The GEER II fund is part of the federal Covid relief packages specifically designed to help educational institutions and is separate from the funding that was received by public schools.
“I’m pleased to announce the list of educational institutions and programs that will receive funding from the GEER II fund,” said Governor Dunleavy. “These institutions do amazing things throughout the state to educate and prepare Alaskan students for success now and in the future. I’m confident that the funding will help improve educational outcomes, support underserved and at-risk youth, and prepare students for future careers in our resource industries.”
The following is a list of institutions and programs that will be funded:
Alaska Military Youth Academy (AMYA) – Anchorage
Funding will be used to enhancing access, safety, and security for at-risk youth attending the academy. Improvements include building and repairing walkways and ramps, repaving the academic activity and training area, and for repairs to buildings.
Challenger Learning Center – Soldotna/Statewide
The Challenger Center’s vision is to have every student in Alaska experiencing the wonders of education through its simulated space missions, e-Missions and workshops each year. The current systems are not supported or serviceable, requiring a complete replacement. Funding will allow the Learning Center to continue to provide dynamic, hands-on space exploration simulations that help students learn and develop skills in decision making, teamwork, problem solving and communication.
Challenger developed a Drone Education and Advancement Program, making use of specialized expertise in aerospace and aviation education to create and test a new program. The program was very successful and additional funding will create a self-sustaining model of teacher training and curriculum that can be purchased and used statewide.
Alaska Sealife Center – Seward
With more coastline in Alaska than the contiguous United States, it is important for Alaska’s students to learn about the ocean and wildlife. This funding will allow the Sealife Center to improve disability access, enabling all students to participate in programs. Financial support also allows more students to experience the Center by increasing classroom visits at a reduced rate. Lastly, part of the funding will be used to develop a “Small Fry” program for early childhood learners.
Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center (NACTEC) – Nome
This funding will support NACTEC’s efforts to fully develop Career and Technical Education pathway programs to fill the need for CDL drivers and heavy equipment operators in Nome and Western Alaska. The CDL and heavy equipment simulators will give students the skills they need to be certified operators and qualify for infrastructure and resource industry jobs in the future.
Alaska Resource Education (ARE) – Statewide
Alaska Resource Education provides mineral, energy, renewables, and forestry resource education for teachers and students across Alaska. Funding will expand, grow, and improve ARE’s current offerings and statewide reach, and enhance the organization’s ability to teach K-12 students a comprehensive curriculum about Alaska’s natural resources. Additionally, it will provide scholarship opportunities for rural students to participate in career pathways summer camps.
Future Farmers of America (FFA) – Statewide
Of the critical issues facing the state, few are more compelling than improving the academic performance of public schools and ensuring a stable, safe, and affordable food supply. The focus of this funding will be two-fold: create new programs in communities not yet served by agricultural education and FFA and ensure the quality and high performance of current programs providing personal, academic and career education in agriculture by developing K-12 agriculture curriculum.