Monday, November 26, 2007

Drinking Coffee, Saving Turtles, Expanding Horizons

So, the short story is this: I am taking 24 Scriber Lake High School students to Costa Rica this spring to scan the Caribbean beaches and rescue eggs that are laid by the endangered Leatherback Turtles (which might otherwise be collected by poachers and sold at local bars with a beer).
The somewhat longer story is here: The kids going on this trip are special - I know them really, really well. Many of them I have taught for four years -- since they were freshmen. I have seen them struggle with difficult family situations, drug addictions, and learning disabilities. All of them have overcome many obstacles in order to graduate in 2008. Scriber is a school of choice, and many of them chose to attend simply because they needed a place where they wouldn't get lost in the big crowds of the mainstream schools.

Anyway, I kind of love these kids, and there is nothing I would like more than to see passports in their hands and an experience like this to expand the shape of their horizons prior to graduation. This will be the first taste of international travel for all but one of them, and they are thrilled with the idea of making a difference for our planet and creating environmental awareness in our community.

In addition to the work with the Leatherbacks, we will also trek to a school in the mountains to experience a cultural exchange with indigenous students. We will learn about rain forests and cloud forests and volcanoes. We'll be looking for monkeys, sloths, iguanas, coatis, and a large variety of birds and hummingbirds. Our trip is being organized through EcoTeach, an organization with a strong commitment to supporting community-based educational and environmental groups in Costa Rica.
Each student is committed to raising the $2200 fee required for the trip; however our students are predominantly free or reduced lunch kids, not very well- connected to relatives or businesses available to help with our cause.

So here is where your coffee drinking can make such a huge difference: We have hooked up with an award-winning coffee company that buys coffee from small, family owned farms in Costa Rica, and our group will receive $4 for every bag sold in our name. Tortuga Coffee is purchased from cooperatives where participating farmers receive living wages, family medical/dental services, high interest savings and low interest loans and free sustainability support for their farms. For easy ordering instructions (orders are shipped directly to you), see the directions below.

Or, of course if any of you would like to donate money, that would be great, too. Checks should be made out to Edmonds School District (Scriber Lake Costa Rica Trip) and can be sent to: Scriber Lake High School, 23200 100th Ave W.,Edmonds, WA 98020. EcoTeach is a 501c3 organization, so your contribution is tax-deductible.

OR...another choice...they are putting together a PowerPoint presentation about the trip and we would love to come and present it to whomever will listen - businesses, a collection of friends, etc. Just let us know where and when!

We will be inviting all supporters to share in a fun night of pictures, videos and dessert following our return (Tiffany, will you help me with this?).

To order Tortuga Coffee:
1.) Go to
2.) Place a coffee order for yourself, family, or business.
3.) When checking out, under “Organization Selection,” please be sure to select “Scriber Lake High School” on the scroll down menu next to “Please select the organization you are fundraising for:” This ensures that your order(s) will be used to support our trip.
4.) In addition, you may select an individual from our team that should be credited with the coffee sale. There is a scroll down menu here that contains the acronym SLHS (Scriber Lake High School) and each of our team member’s last names. Even though my trip is covered, my last name is listed, too. I plan to credit a student's account with anything in mine. Or, you may simply choose “none” from the scroll down menu, making the donation one that would be evenly divided among the students going on the trip.

Thanks so much for your support--every little bit will help us. Please...forward this link to anyone you know who is a lover of coffee, turtles or teenagers.