The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, dubbed the Last Great Race on Earth, is finally over and a winner has been declared. Musher Dallas Seavey is celebrating his win of the strenuous 1,000 mile race across Alaska that ended in Nome, Alaska in the early hours of March 15. Competitors are still finishing the long trek, but here’s the L.A. connection: Granada Hills Charter High School students with mild, moderate and severe learning disabilities won an art contest celebrating the annual competition. Their work was displayed as centerpiece decorations for the Mushers Drawing Banquet, where the mushers had the bib number drawing, an auction and a three-course dinner in Anchorage, Alaska, just before the race started March 5.
The winning centerpiece design centers on a single can of dog food, wrapped in construction paper, with additional pieces symbolizing parts of the race. Upon learning their design had won, students immediately began constructing over 30 centerpieces to be shipped to Alaska. “This is truly a great example of bringing real-life events into the classroom. I’m proud of our students for creating a piece that will be appreciated by the mushers and their teams,” said Granada Hills Charter Executive Director, Brian Bauer. “Even as the mushers are fortified by our students’ thoughtfulness, likewise, we are fortified by their endurance and determination.”
The Iditarod, which requires mushers to lead their dog teams over mountain ranges and other rugged terrain in sub-zero temperatures, has been a constant source of inspiration and motivation for students in this class at Granada Hills Charter High School.
“It has been the linchpin to our curriculum over the years. When we first read a book about Balto, a huskie from Alaska, they wanted to know everything about this race. So I incorporate it into all of our lesson plans and the students love it,” said Sue Panman, special education teacher.
For more information about race results visit the Iditarod Trail Committee’s Facebook page.