Help My 8th Graders Go To Washington D.C.

By Bret Harte Elementary School

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My Students:

The last two years we took about 30 enthusiastic 8th graders on their first Washington D.C. Trip. Just like last couple of years, we are hoping to send this group of 8th graders on the same trip.

My students are eager and energetic; they want to see what the world has to offer.

However, 80% of them are considered low income. For many of them, this would be the

trip of a lifetime. Many have never flown anywhere before. We are a small school, but

part of one of the largest city public school systems in the US. Some of our students

struggle with paying for basic, local field trips. It is not rare for staff members to provide

clothing for a few of our students. We will have small fundraisers consisting of

school car washes (our first one is this Saturday October 3, 2015), face-painting at a local book fair, taffy apples sales, and

bake sales. This will be great morale and the students are determined to work for

their funding. . However, this type of funding is

not enough when we have a handful of students who can pay nothing towards the trip.

My Project

A trip to Washington, D.C., has become a rite of passage for many 8th graders. (I went

to DC when I was in 8th grade back in 1994!) Many other schools in our system

organize a trip to DC for their 8th graders. When we started planning for this 8th grade

class at the start of school a month ago, the first thing that came up was "We're taking them to DC,  just like we did with last years class!" That was

what was going to open their eyes, expose them to the workings of our country, and

provide them an opportunity to spur so many other learning moments. The students will

learn plenty, academically, about the legislative system, the organization of our

government, the monuments that represent so many lives lost and what that means. We

have an inside tour of the White House promised as well and have the hope of meeting

the president! Beyond all of this, the students will learn about a city outside of their own,

social skills that are needed to succeed beyond school, and the dedication and hard

work it takes to accomplish a trip like this.

If you can help, in any way, you will be broadening the horizons of these students.

You will be providing experiential learning that is priceless. Prior to going on the trip we will read a novel

set in Vietnam in 1975- just think about how they will react to being able to touch the

names of those soldiers on the Vietnam Memorial. You will be opening up an entire new

world for most of the students by supporting our trip. Thank you for anything you can


Below I included a picture of our recent 8th grade class and an article from last years 8th grade class that was in DNA Info.

Bret Harte Kids Washing Cars and Selling Apples to Get to Washington


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