Nineteen students from Rolette and Leeds high schools will be traveling to Costa Rica in June, 2018.
Partnering with Education First (EF) Tours, Family and Consumer Sciences teachers Brittany Lovcik and Jenessa Fritel will be taking 14 students from Rolette and five from Leeds on a 10-day trip through Costa Rica to learn about its agriculture, environment, education and culture.
"Both Jenessa and I want our students to be global learners," Lovcik said. "This is something that we are hoping they will take into their futures and learn from."
Rolette Students [Top row – left to right] Brennen Wright, Seth Azure, Hailey Casavant, Stephanie Wright, Chelsie Mattson, Everett Brown, Cheyene Lauck
[Bottom row – left to right] Mackenzie Azure, Bailey Mora, Shelby Johnson, Kiaera Grant, Tessa Mattson, Maria Leonard, Conner Greiner
During the trip, the students will be participating in educational, interactive and fun activities that will teach them about Costa Rican life. They will visit a coffee plantation and learn how farming is done in Costa Rica, compared to farming in North Dakota.
"None of these kids has left the country, and some of them have never been on an airplane, so this is a really exciting opportunity for them," Lovcik said. "Some kids are saying that they don't know if they would have ever been able to do this kind of travel if not for this program."
The students will have the opportunity to go kayaking through mountain ranges. They will visit natural hot springs, waterfalls and active volcanoes in the Arenal Region. In Manuel Antonio National Park, they will learn about rare orchids, birds and other animals. They will visit the continental divide, where they will be able to see and learn about six eco zones. They will attend a day at a local school in Monteverde, where they will meet students, learn dances, wear traditional clothing and hear about education in a different country. The students will also plant a tree to give back to the community, something that locals in Costa Rica take pride in.
There will also be hiking trips, a crocodile boat cruise, white water rafting, and a zip lining canopy tour through a national park.
There will be overnight stays in San Jose, Central Pacific Coast, Monteverde and Arenal.
"I signed up for this trip because it seems like a great opportunity," Tessa Mattson, a student going on the trip, said. "It is a new place I haven't been to, so it would be cool to see how different it is. It'll be fun to try new things there. It will be an experience that I will never forget, mostly because I'll be with my friends who make everything fun. Also, it will all be new to us, and we can have a new experience together."
Students who attend the trip will also have the choice of completing an extra assignment for either high school or college credit. Students can earn of a high school credit or up to three college credits. Students who opt to complete the assignment will choose an essential question or idea before leaving for the trip and conduct research beforehand. While in Costa Rica, students will explore and take photographs and notes on their chosen topic. A video or other type of formal presentation will then be compiled and judged by an accredited university.
"This trip will be action-packed and fun, and the kids are always learning as they go," Lovcik said.
Both Lovcik and Fritel have visited Costa Rica before, which is why they thought it would be a great location to take students to. "We wanted to provide an opportunity for the kids in our school who may not otherwise be able to do something like this," Lovcik said.
"This trip gives us [students] a great opportunity to see and experience the world and not be stuck in a small town," Shelby Johnson said. "One of the many reasons I wanted to go on this trip is to experience first-hand how Central America's culture differs from our culture. It's so exciting to be able to go somewhere other than America."
The total cost is $2,735 per student to attend this trip, which includes the all-inclusive program price and the needed Global Travel Protection. Students have been working and receiving donations in order to cover the cost.
"All of our kids that are going are working two jobs to pay for it," Lovcik said. "They don't get anything handed to them, and their parents aren't paying for it. We want them to know that if they strive for something, and work hard for it, they can get a lot out of it."
Donations that come from Rugby are being split between the Rolette and Leeds students and can be sent to Lovcik or Fritel. Each student also has an individual Tour Donation Page, where anyone can donate to that specific student to help cover the costs of the trip.
Students are willing to work for their donations, also. Lovcik said that students are willing to partner with businesses that may need or want help in exchange for a donation. Businesses may get in contact with Lovcik or Fritel for more information.