June 19, 2017 (Independence, IA) – A group of 8th graders from the Independence Community School District (ICSD) recently returned from the 4th annual bus trip to Washington D.C.
During the week long adventure students visited historic sites such as; Gettysburg, Harpers Ferry, Devils Den, Arlington National Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial, Pennsylvania Avenue, Smithsonian Air & Space Museum , Arlington House, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier the Iwo Jima memorial, Mount Vernon and much, much more.
Parent, Robin Van Raden said, “This is a great coming of age trip. Students begin as eager students ready for an adventure with friends and grow throughout the experience in their understanding of U.S., world history, wars and sacrifice. They all have that a-ha moment when they get it!”
The group for this year included 32 students, 8 parents, 2 chaperones and 1 tour guide. Amy Gustafson, a Jr. High math teacher was the coordinator and one of the chaperones. This trip began in 2014 and has continued yearly since. Coordination of the trip is a yearlong process that begins at the beginning of each new school year with the new freshman that just went on the trip sharing their experiences with the 7th and 8th graders. Then, throughout the year as plans are made, informational student and parent meetings are held. The Washington D.C. trip is not a school sponsored or funded trip and all expenses are paid by the students and their families. In the past, no group fundraising has been done, but there is talk of possibly doing some fundraising for the 2018 trip.
Parent and ICSD Counselor, Shalon Frye stated, “This experience is invaluable for our students. The learning that happens as they are touring Gettysburg, Harpers Ferry, Mount Vernon, and DC could never be replicated in a classroom setting. The travel company does an incredible job of educating everyone on the trip throughout our journey. The stories and history we learned were an important component of making places come alive for the students. I would highly recommend this opportunity for all of our students!”
To learn more next year’s 8th Grade Washington D.C. trip, contact Amy Gustafson at firstname.lastname@example.org
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