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Reading and Writing

Home  >  Reading and Writing  >  Featured Writers
Ac'arralek Lolly Sheppard Carpluk
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Ac'arralek Lolly Sheppard Carpluk is a Yup'ik woman, born and raised in Mountain Village, Alaska. Her traditional Yup'ik upbringing and perspective are supported and nurtured by a large extended family continually supporting and nurturing the Yup'ik. Her formal Western education began in an elementary school in Mountain Village. She went on to attend both Mt. Edgecumbe and St. Mary's Catholic high schools. She received a B.A. in Sociology, elementary and secondary teaching certification, and a Master's degree in Education, all from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). The majority of her work experience has been in education. She also has and continues to serve on a variety of committees, some of which include: Native Educators' Conference Planning Committee, Native Educators' Advisory Committee to the Commissioner of Education, Honoring Alaska's Indigenous Literature committee and the UAF Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Native Education. She currently serves as the Director of Future Teachers of Alaska, University of Alaska Statewide.

Lolly Carpuk stands alongside an eight-foot snow berm on a March 2004 visit to Unalakleet.

She didn't realize how much time she spent in a classroom until she reflected back on her experiences. She began as an elementary school student, a junior high and high school student, a undergraduate university student, a university teacher preparation student, a classroom teacher, a university professor and as a parent volunteer in her children's classroom. Through her struggles and triumphs, she continues to gain a better understanding of this thing called "school." In working with children from all backgrounds, and her own children, she started to "see" school from the kids' unique perspectives. The resiliency of the children to welcome, work, test and learn with a new teacher resonated with her as she created the following children's story: "We Love Mrs. Sparky." In part, it reflects some of her own experience as a beginning teacher. It also reflects on her bilingual background, the play on English words and the images that they conjure. The story was originally written for intermediate grades, but she found that the adults liked the story as well. 

Lolly Carpluk's daughter, J. Carpluk, also enjoys writing. As an elementary student, J. Carpluk had a huge interest in dogs. One year her class followed and learned about the Yukon Quest, a long distance race between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. She wrote the story, titled, "I'm a Kid and I Won the Yukon Quest!" The story's details and her reflection upon how her dogs behaved or not, reveal an entertaining imagination. If only in life, there were such things as "a five-minute flu."

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