George F. Baker High School in Tuxedo will host a “Runway to Costa Rica” on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 5 to 9 p.m.
“The purpose of this event is to help raise money to defray some of the costs for our students at George F. Baker to experience another culture and have an adventure in Costa Rica,” Tuxedo PTO parent Kelly Spranger said. “Since our French class goes to Montreal and Paris, our Spanish teacher thought it would be great to have a trip for the Spanish students.”
Organizers hope to fund a portion to help offset the students’ cost to Costa Rica, so 100 percent of the proceeds raised from this event will be donated directly to the students’ trip.
A relationship with a STEM school in Uvita
There is a school in Costa Rica that a friend of Spranger’s launched which has grown in the last 10 years to a K-12 STEM school with 150 bilingual children.
“We are trying to have a relationship with this school in hopes of an exchange of some sort,” she said. “When they first started in 2001, George F. Baker in Tuxedo donated 10 boxes of books and had them shipped to Uvita, Costa Rica, to help get them started, so this could be the start of a wonderful friendship.”
At Runway to Costa Rica, there will be holiday shopping with local vendors, food, prizes, a tricky tray raffle, a smoothie table, dance performances, music, photography and a fashion show with clothes provided by Runway Tuxedo Park.
An educational experience
While traveling to another country can be fun and exciting, the trip also allows for the students to have an educational experience as well.
“Traveling to another country is so important for all people to have a better understanding of other cultures, different languages, and exposure to nature and people with a completely different outlook on life,” Spranger said. “Costa Rica is a country rich in biodiversity, ecologically crucial to this planet with more species of plants, bugs, and animals than can be imagined. Having this experience to zipline through the trees, ride horses among wild life, see enormous waterfalls, see happy children and learning about biodiversity could spark interest in a career path, and perhaps even help the planet long-term.”
The 'Switzerland of Central America’
This trip will not only have an educational value, but will also have important cultural value, too.
“Cultural diversity is more important than ever in this global economy, and Costa Rica is a stable country, very healthy economically, and considered the ‘Switzerland of Central America’ because it’s the only country other than Switzerland that does not have an army,” said Spranger. “Costa Rica is extremely well-educated, and has an average employment of 2.5 jobs per person. Due to these factors, and the fact that the people there are so lovely and friendly and safe, it makes for the perfect destination for our students.”
Spranger added in addition to starting a relationship with another school, the event also promotes a sense of community.
“Within our community in Tuxedo, we bring together the generous donors and provide them a platform to showcase their goods and services,” Spranger said. “Parents will also come together for an evening of fun and community spirit during this holiday season to support our students.”