EDITORIAL: Projects, events keep youth engaged

·2 min read

May 7—THUMBS UP to the Education Foundation of Muskogee for awarding 18 grants totaling $23,863.94 for 15 teachers at seven Muskogee Public Schools.

Education Foundation President Karra Wardour said grants "allow teachers to do extra activities with their students in the classroom or the building, outside of the curriculum."

Muskogee's teachers have frequently spent their own money for additional supplies for their classrooms.

When they applied for these grants, they really put a lot of thought into what they wanted to be able to share with students.

Ja'Corie Maxwell said he would use his grant to buy poetry books for the college-career exploration course he teaches. He was inspired by Amanda Gorman's poem "The Hill We Climb," which the poet recited at this year's presidential inauguration.

Janet Lopez, who teaches pre-engineering and Project Lead the Way wants to teach students how to use soldering irons for several different projects.

Even though the teachers were the ones who received the grants, it's the students who will benefit. What a worthwhile organization!

----THUMBS UP to the participants of this year's Remember the Removal Bike Ride, who will retrace an estimated 950 miles along the northern route of the Trail of Tears by bicycle.

Of the estimated 16,000 Cherokees who were forced to make the journey to Indian Territory in 1838 and 1839, about 4,000 died due to starvation, disease and exposure to the elements.

Riders include Shace Duncan, 18, of Stilwell; Whitney Roach, 22, of Tahlequah; Melanie Giang, 21, of Claremore; Kaylee Smith, 20, of Tahlequah; and mentor riders Ronnie Duncan, 48, of Stilwell, and Tracie Asbill, 39, of Tahlequah.

The ride spans from Georgia to Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. The trip is a hot, grueling ride that begins in Georgia and ends in Oklahoma. It takes nearly three weeks to complete, but riders return with a sense of pride and a better idea of their ancestors' struggles.

The Cherokee Nation should be commended for finding such a great way for young people to learn about their heritage.

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