All fifteen tribes affiliated with the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, known as SEARHC, received $50,000 from a Healthy is Here grant.
The Wrangell Cooperative Association is distributing the SEARHC grant money to projects in the community that promote health and well-being on a very broad spectrum.
Two projects outside of WCA’s purview will receive $5,000 a piece. Jill Privett will use the funds to start up a teen night program.
She’s naming the program Alaska Sprouts Seeds of Change. The program will utilize the city’s parks and recreation facility for most of the activities. Privett plans on having fun activities in the gym, guest speakers in the classroom, and students cooking for their peers in the kitchen. She hopes to bring in local businesses to discuss what they are looking for in an employee.
Privett also wants to offset the cost of any and all things teens need. She’s working on a hygiene and food pantry, and hopes to pay for prom tickets, movie tickets, haircuts, anything kids might not be able to afford on their own. The program will also teach kids about traditional foods and host subsistence workshops.
The city’s parks and recreation department will rehab the Kyle Angerman Park. The city has already allotted $25,000 to the project.
Smaller ticket projects include additional funding for the EATS elementary school gardening program, Wrangell public school’s athletic department, new exercise equipment for parks and rec, and the fire department’s canine search and rescue program.
WCA affiliated projects include rehabbing the cultural center, or carving shed. The tribe will install dust collectors, something to keep carvers breathing safely when they’re at work. The tribe will also install tiling to improve the acoustics of the facility, since it’s used as a meeting place when carvers aren’t there.
Tribal Administrator Esther Ashton says almost half of the $50,000 is being put towards a cultural fund for the tribe to tap into down the road.
All tribes affiliated with SEARHC received this grant. This could be a yearly opportunity for the tribes.
Full disclosure, Privett is KSTK’s morning edition host.