The last few years have been very busy at Arctic Light Academy and Tutoring Center. Arctic Light Ministries, an independent non-profit ministry based in Tok, Alaska, received a grant for playground equipment from Versacare.
Versacare is an independent foundation which supports Seventh-day Adventist ministries along with a select few other humanitarian efforts through financial grants. Prior to the grant, the center’s play equipment consisted of a few balls and a couple bats. With the much-needed funds, ALATC added two huge tires for climbing, built a large swing set and constructed a fort with two different slides. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the arrival of the slides, but finally, to the great joy of the children, all equipment is now in place.
Teaching children practical life skills is a major emphasis of ALM. In 2022, ALM was awarded a grant from Alaska Department of Natural Resources for a greenhouse. In addition, Versacare blessed ALM with a second grant for all the required equipment, potting soil and bedding materials for inside and outside the greenhouse.
Gardening commenced even before the greenhouse was completed. Buckets were utilized for tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash and eggplant. When the greenhouse was finally ready for use on July 1, 2022, green beans, beets, carrots and other seeds were planted directly in the beds. The harvest was enough for the group to preserve tomato sauce and freeze broccoli, cauliflower and green beans.
The fresh produce was used in school lunches and shared with the Tok Church family and ALATC families. Students also sold plants to the community and crafted flower baskets to beautify the center and church grounds. ALM will continue to improve its plant offerings to the community and the quantity and variety for eating, sharing and selling in the coming years.
In October 2022, ALATC students traveled to Kentucky to visit the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, a life-size structure of the ark of the flood mentioned in Genesis. The group then went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where they were hosted by Clifton Church while they visited the Cincinnati Zoo and Newport Aquarium. What a fantastic trip for children living in rural Alaska, some of whom had never been out of the state! ALM greatly appreciates the support and prayers that made this learning opportunity possible.