05/14/2013 04:00 pm ET Updated Jul 14, 2013

In Remote Alaska, Kids Sell Cookies to Keep School Doors Open

A student shortage has this year led to the closure of four schools in remote villages of Alaska -- the most in a decade -- but a handful of gutsy kids in a fifth village refused to let their school die. The kids agreed to contribute $18,000 to help keep school in session, using money collected mostly from ice cream sales at the student store.

The six students, ranging from the fifth to 10th grade at the Gusty Michael School in the Southwest Alaska village of Stony River are "heroic," said Brad Allen, Kuspuk School District superintendent.

"It's pretty phenomenal to see kids wanting to pay to keep their school open when you have so many places in the U.S. where the kids don't care about the school or are not willing to fight for it. It's definitely a welcome change," Allen said.

The store, operated out of an empty teacher-housing unit because the school building closed last year, is the only place to buy food in the community ...

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