WARRENSBURG - Local second graders recently got a taste of a long-standing tradition in the wilds of Alaska.
In conjunction with their classroom studies on the famed Iditarod race, the students of Amy Meader and Fran Ambrosini were treated to a visit last week by a duo of sled dogs owned by Meader's brother Greg, the teachers said.
Melissa Cirelli, a student teacher from Glens Falls and a fan of the 1,161-mile race, has been teaching the students about how the race started, how mushers take care of the dogs, and how the sleds work.
Cirelli said the children have been interested in the race origins. Although the race began in 1975, the route by dogsled in 1925 was a means to transport life-saving medication to the town of Nome that was suffering an outbreak of diphtheria, she said.
This year's edition of the race started March 7 in Anchorage, and the students have been daily charting and graphing the racers' progress, Cirelli said.
"I'm really interested in the Iditarod," she said, noting that the Adirondacks and Alaska share wintry weather, although Alaska's is much more severe. "I love Alaska, but few people around here know much about the race."