November 26, 2022

Girdwood Run for Women Info

This SATURDAY in honor of the many Girwood, Bird, Indan and Portage women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, Four Valleys Community School will be hosting an very unofficial Run for Women location in Girdwood to start from on Saturday June 20, 2020!
Let’s create a sea of PINK here in Girdwood! This is a fun event and is open to ANYONE who would like to run in support of women who have had/have/are battling breast cancer and any type of cancer. This is a run NOT JUST for Women, but for anyone who would like to get out and show support. 
Game Plan:
  1. Register for the run and be on the GIRDWOOD GALS-FOUR VALLEYS COMMUNITY SCHOOL team.
  2. Put it on your calendar – THIS Saturday June 20th
  3.  Read and sign this COVID-19 Risk Waiver. Read it, print it, sign it and bring it with you to turn in when you check-in.
  4. Meet at 9:00am (outside the Alyeska Daylodge) for a Zumba warm up with Jen Wellner (thanks Jen!) and picture. Please wear a mask or buff, and stay at least 6 feet apart from others.
  5. 9:30am we start! (with staggered start and social distancing guidelines applied).
You can walk it or run it, turn around part way……the idea is to get outside and move your body, be healthy, distantly surrounded by AMAZING Girdwood, Bird, Indian and Portage people.  Or, you can do it virtually too….join our team, do it on your own and be involved at a distance.  We will not be doing official times (or anything official, really) other than gather together with a spirit of support and community for those locals who have/had/do battle with breast cancer and hopefully raise a little money to provide  mammograms.

COVID-19 Summer Program Update

FVCS COVID-19 Update!
Four Valleys Community School is closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 and is actively working on a mitigation plan for our summer programs that follow the changing city, state and facility mandates. In general our current plan is to run Summer Adventure Camps in July and August, and move the Outdoor Soccer program to August. We will not be running the Summer Playground program at all this summer. Girdwood Fine Arts Camp will be making final decisions on that program the last week of June.
We will continually monitor the situation and our action plan will evolve as necessary to ensure we respond quickly and appropriately to new information as it comes available. Keeping campers and staff safe this summer is our highest priority.
Specific summer program dates and registration updates will be posted on our home page, and via our electronic newsletter as soon as they are finalized. Thank you for your patience as we navigate this unpredictable time!

Alyeska Snow Classic Official Reading 2020

Check out the reading of the Alyeska Snow Stake!  This year’s reading is 1 foot plus over last year’s reading of 2.68! A cold spring combined with a good snow pack mid- mountain means the snow hasn’t reduced too much until only very recently.

Thank you to Reid B and Eric T who where our official stake readers this year, and to Alyeska Resort for working with us to make sure we could access the snow stake to take the official measurement on the planned day.

The Alyeska Snow Classic is a annual fundraiser for Four Valleys Community School, and is a split-the-pot contest to see who can guess the measurement of snow at our snow stake on Mt. Alyeska. All funds raised support Four Valleys Community School community education mission.

We will be going through all the tickets soon to determine winner(s)! Thank you to all who sold tickets, bought tickets, and made your best guess. We hope you win!

Stumpy’s Early Winter Trail Challenge & Community History Project

Here’s the Challenge!
Print out a copy of this cool Stumpy’s Early Winter Trail System Map that was hand-drawn by Stumpy Faulker himself!
  • Print out and use the map to seek out the individual place names and locales along the Stumpy’s Early Winter Trails system.
  •  If you find a wooden place name, take a photograph of the sign and/ or with a member of your search standing with the sign.
  • Take a photograph of the surrounding area and/or with your search party.
  • Submit any knowledge you have of WHO or WHY the places listed on the map got their names in by any contributing information on the Stumpy’s Early Winter Trail Community History Project (or click blue button below). Share the survey with any long time Girdwood local who might remember some information to add. Bonus points if you fill out the survey for an elder because they are shy of technology!
  • Post your pictures on the Four Valleys Community School Facebook page or email and you will be entered in a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate from The Ice Cream Shop. Drawing to take place on May 14th.
  • For more details, view the full project information here.

FVCS Summer Programs Open for Waitlist Registration

Waitlist registration is now open for our FVCS Summer Programs. What does this mean? Because the future of our summer session is up in the air, and because we do not not know when (or if) we will be able to operate our summer programs, we are taking sign-ups on a WAITLIST basis. You will be able to see dates and pricing information, and sign up as “Waitlisted” with no financial commitment into different classes. The advantage of signing up as “Waitlisted” allows FVCS to contact Waitlisted students directly when we are able to open up for regular registration.
Fingers crossed that the Corvid-19 crisis will allow life to get back to some version of normal in the near future. Until then, we are working hard to keep FVCS viable and remain positive about the future. Thank you for your flexibility and patience, as well as your support.
As always, all summer programs are based in Girdwood.  View all the FVCS Summer Programs here.

Four Valleys Community School Annoucement

With the Anchorage School District making the decision to keep schools closed for another week and suspending all rentals in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, FVCS must cancel all classes and programs for the Week of March 16, 2020 and very probably beyond. We are working to open registration for our Summer Programs in the next few days, and look forward to more providing recreational and educational classes in the future. Thank you for your continued support.

Alyeska Snow Classic Ticket Sales Begin March 1st!

ALYESKA SNOW CLASSIC 2020: It is dumping snow in Girdwood, and Alyeska Snow Classic ticket sales will begin March 1, 2020! Guess how much snow will accumulate at the 1096 ft level of Mt. Alyeska on the last day of the 2020 ski season. Guess correctly, and you could split the pot! Pop-up shops will be held all of March. Tickets/guess $5.00 each. Get a fantastic Alyeska Snow Classic cup when you purchase 6 tickets. Ticket sales benefit Four Valleys Community School.

Pick.Click.Give & Support FVCS

Please support Four Valleys Community School via Pick.Click.Give when you file for your PFD this year!  Your funds will stay here in Girdwood to support our programs. This past year we offered over 180 classes, events and programs specifically tailored for Girdwood residents. Your donations allow us to offer many extra free and low cost events that enrich our community, as well as give us the boost we need to develop new programs too. Thank you for your support!

FVCS Nordic Ski Club Gear & Registration

Four Valleys Nordic Ski Club starts soon! There is snow on the ground, and we cannot wait to ski!  FVCS Nordic Ski Club for Grades 1-6th and Kinderski with Coach Ari will begin Monday January 27th. For those signed up for our program, we have gear to loan and will distribute gear after-school on Wednesday January 8th.

New gear has been provided by a generous donation from Sherry & Bob Dugan, as well as a grant from the Anchorage Ski Educational Foundation.

Donations and our outstanding volunteer coaches make this program happen!

Register online:

Why Support to Four Valleys Community School?

Why give to Four Valleys Community School? We are based on a simple community education model: to provide programs that utilize our community and local resources, promote life-long learning, and emphasize recreational, cultural and educational opportunities for local residents of all ages. As such, we are proud to be a legacy non-profit serving Girdwood residents.

This past year we offered over 180 classes, events and programs specifically tailored for Girdwood residents. There were over 1700 separate enrollments into our programs, and 95% of these are Girdwood residents. We also serve Indian, Bird and Portage but most of our registrations and support comes from Girdwood residents.

This past year we offered classes ranging from everything from Make Your Own Tie-Dye T-shirts to Basic Hunter Education. Other classes included:

  • First Aid/CPR and Wilderness First Aid
  • Visiting veterinarian
  • Wooden Spoon Carving
  • Felting classes
  • Fused glass plates and bowls
  • Ukranian egg dying
  • Glacier Valley Quilters
  • How to release your dog from a trap
  • Salsa making
  • Chess club
  • Two Lego League teams

Because we have a Memorandum of Agreement to rent the Girdwood K-8 School after-hours, we are able to utilize that newly renovated facility and bring the general public to the school for our classes and events. We schedule many areas of the school, but use the Gym more than any other space. This past year we provided a broad range of recreational opportunities for all ages, including:

  • Weekly adult fitness and recreational classes: Indoor Soccer, Pickleball, Basketball, Volleyball, Indoor Tennis, ping pong, early morning Circuit Training and dance/cardio classes. Stand Up Paddle boarding and hip hop dance. During the school year we also have the indoor running track open to the public for no fee.
  • Seasonal and weekly kids recreational programs include:
  • FVCS Cross Country Running
  • FVCS Nordic Ski Club and Kinderski
  • Open Gym times for Junior High and High School
  • A 6 week Indoor Soccer league
  • 3 Kung Fu classes that run 1x/week during the school year
  • Swimming lessons
  • Open gym for pre-school ages
  • Hip hop dance classes

During the summer we concentrate on placed-based educational programs for local kids. Programs start very soon after school ends, and run up until Girdwood Fine Arts Camp begins just before the start of the school year. This summer we had 250 enrollments for about 300 hours of programming.

This summer our programs included:

  • Outdoor soccer
  • Summer Playground
  • Adventure camps: Fossils and Geology, Metamorphosis, Art and Exploration, Tides and Ecology, Wilderness Skills, Yoga and Field Sports.

We are also proud of our partnerships with other non-profits in the Girdwood Valley and the free events and programs that we offered over this past year either as a sponsor or partner, to further our mission to promote community engagement.

In 2019, these events included:

  • Hosting town meeting for Girdwood Area Plan (GAP Night)
  • Hosting the Shiloh Baptist Choir for a performance (Girwood Inc)
  • Promoting placed based education by working with the Beulga Whale Alliance to host citizen science trainings (4) to monitor Beulga whale activity in the Turnagain Arm
  • We had an Earthquake Awareness night, working with Girdwood Rotary to help coordinate our Earthquake Awareness movie. The movie was filmed and edited at one of our summer camps, and funded in part by the Kenai Mountains Turnagain Arm Natural Heritage Area. The Red Cross and the Girdwood Fire Department and CERT program was present as well.
  • We partner with the PTA to fund the school play and Girdwood K-8 School Days of Service.
  • We provide marketing, registration and administrative support for the Girdwood Fine Arts Camp.
  • We provide marketing support as well as juice and cookies for the upcoming Health Fair, which is a Girdwood Rotary program.
  • We also worked with Girdwood Rotary and Girdwood Fire Department to host a Bike Safety Clinic for kids participating in Bike to School Day.
  • We also provided funding and hosted Alaska Native Cultural Night at the Girdwood School, and will be doing another this winter highlighting Hispanic cultures in our community this winter.
  • We work with the Girdwood Lion’s Club to provide two scholarships for graduating High School seniors from Girdwood.
  • Each year we host a big community Ski and Sports Swap. We mobilize about 100 volunteers to help us pull that one day sale off. It is also a fundraiser for FVCS, and proceeds go toward helping the Girdwood School PE ski program as well as our community education classes.  We are also hoping to restart our Scholar Athlete Award ski pass program in partnership with Alyeska Resort this spring.
  • The Girdwood Forest Fair Committee generously has provided us with funds that we use to provide program scholarships and financial aid so that all members of our community have access to our classes, regardless of ability to pay.

All of our programs and initiatives are managed by a part time staff of three.  Staff is supported by a 12 person Board of Directors who are all full time Girdwood residents, and are devoted to keeping community education and recreation locally available.

Four Valleys Community School is truly a community based organization with Girdwood at the core of our DNA. We are committed to providing meaningful educational, cultural and recreational opportunities for all members of our community. With the continued support of our community we look forward to continuing as a key organization that reflects the dynamic spirit of Girdwood.

Please consider joining our list of supporters by including Four Valleys Community School in your end of year giving.