In Pierre, South Dakota, Iditarod sled dogs came to school to the delight of a group of third graders.
Four Siberian huskies accompanied Jim and Michele McNeely on a visit to Kennedy Elementary School. The dogs did not enter they school, but remained outdoors, and children went outside one class at a time to pet them and learn more about them.
According to third grade teacher Kimberly Livermont, students are following the Iditerod race, and corresponding with one of the participants, Nicholas Graves. Nicholas is the son of custodian Beccy Graves.
Lessons on the Iditerod incorporate many ideas. Students learn geography of Alaska, and they learn math as they chart the miles. They also learned about the Northern Lights, thus incorporating science into the lesson also.
The winner had crossed the finish line the day before, so they brought in the McNeelys who are “mushers”, and friends of teacher Denise Overweg’s family.
“This is the second time he’s come to our school. He just comes and talks about the sleds, the dogs, the commands, how they pull. The kids really get into it because they have their own musher, and so this just brings it to life for them,” she said.