Skiku provides annual cross-country skiing instruction to the children and communities of rural Alaska. Teams of staff and volunteer coaches instruct at village schools by leading classes in skiing lessons and activities throughout the day. After-school cross-country ski sessions are held daily for both children and their families. Skiku provides videos and curriculum resources for communities that are trying to establish or maintain their own local ski club. Skiku coaches are volunteers from all across Alaska and around world who travel to remote villages to share their passion for cross-country skiing with you in need of positive activities. Through participation in skiing, village students learn a lifelong skill that can be done as a part of a group or as a solo activity whenever there is snow on the ground.
There are few positive healthy outdoor activity activity options in rural communities in the winter. Cross-country skiing is a perfect non-motorized, self-powered physical fitness and recreation activity that channels youth energy into setting and working toward goals, developing healthy connections with others, and building physical fitness. Alaska's rural population faces some significant challenges regarding health, mental health, and healthy behaviors, including disproportionately high levels of tobacco and substance use, diabetes, obesity, and suicide rates. Skiku works to help change those statistics by providing an opportunity for the whole community to partake in a healthy outdoor physical activity, learn new skills, develop healthy habits, and create life changing personal relationships with Skiku coaches.
Skiku also schedules and supports skiing programs for underrepresented groups in the Anchorage area. Skiku collaborates with a variety partners including the Anchorage School District to support Title I students, rural school districts with operations in Anchorage, the Alaska Native community, outdoor recreation groups, and other groups working to increase access to skiing for all in our community.