Our Nation's Capital
On Monday, May 22, forty three sixth graders traveled to Washington DC accompanied by nine adventurous chaperones. The group of travelers spent much of this year fundraising to minimize the costs for families. In all, students raised over $5,000 to help pay for a coach bus and hotel rooms for our three-day experience.
After leaving at 7:30 in the morning and traveling for over six hours, our first stop was at Arlington National Cemetery. Our three-mile walking tour included visiting the JFK eternal flame and gravesite as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Changing of the Guard.
Our second adventure of the day was navigating the busy DC metro system to find our way to the National Mall and an evening monument tour. Once on the mall, we caught a quick glimpse of the Capitol Building before walking directly to the Washington Monument. We continued to the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. As we were nearing 10:00 pm with weary travelers, we regrouped and rallied the sixth graders for a final push to see the White House!
On our second day we split into nine smaller groups to allow for easy mobility. Groups visited most Smithsonian museums on the mall, The National Gallery of Art, Botanical Gardens, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, and the National Museum of American History. The most popular destination of the day, however, was the National Zoo! Students explored animals of every shape and size, but the big attraction was the baby Giant Panda Bei Bei!
On our third and final day we had just one scheduled stop. As we left the city, we drove to Dulles Airport where the newest Smithsonian Museum is located. The Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum is home to the space shuttle Discovery, an SR-71 blackbird, the Enola Gay, an Air-France Concorde and much more! After a few exciting hours in the museum and a quick lunch, we left DC to head back to Poplar Ridge!
Thank you to the sixth grade students as their behavior exceeded expectations! They represented our school and community well while in Washington DC! Thanks also to the chaperones who accompanied our students: Diane Kulas, Heather Snyder, Julia Dunsmoor, Laurie Waldron, Frank Benenati, Mark Johnson, Tracy Reuter and Pam Landon.
by Principal Chris Clapper