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Denver Forum -
Students enjoy four days at the nation’s Capitol
By Lindsey Corell

For four days, Denver students experienced Washington, D.C. in a trip that was new to the district.

From July 25 to July 28, around 30 students who finished their 7th, 8th or 9th grade year, along with 12 parent chaperones and four faculty members, toured Washington D.C.

The trip, planned by World Classrooms, was originally scheduled for July 2020, but, due to COVID-19, it was postponed for a year. It was also originally offered to students finishing grades 6th through 8th grade, but due to the postponement, the students on the trip finished grades 7th through 9th grade.

“World Classrooms is a company that specializes in school trips to Washington DC and they came highly recommended,” said middle school Social Studies teacher Jamie Johnson. “Paul Gebel (middle school principal) and myself got the ball rolling a couple years back and it was great to finally make the trip happen.”

Once they landed in Washington, D.C., a local historian joined the group to give them stories behind each of the memorials and historic attractions.

On day one, the group toured the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, WWII Memorial, Washington Monument, Tidal Basin, and the MLK, FDR and Jefferson Memorials.

The Arlington National Cemetery, Capitol Hill, Georgetown and the Vietnam, Korean and Lincoln Memorials were toured on day two.

On the third day, the Gettysburg Cyclorama and Museum, a Gettysburg Battlefield tour and a night at the National Harbor were experienced.

On the final day, Mount Vernon, the Eisenhower Memorial and the Smithsonian Museum of Space and Air and a 360 Tour of the White House was on the agenda.

“When we did our Capitol Hill tour we also had a Q and A with Senator (Charles) Grassley on the Capitol steps,” said Johnson. “We were lucky enough to get in touch with his staffers and they were more than willing to see if they could find some time in the Senator’s schedule to meet with us that day. The timing worked on both our ends and it was a pleasure to meet our Senator in Washington D.C.”

With the trip being a huge success, the district hopes to plan a trip to Washington, D.C. every two years.

“I could go on and on about the different things we experienced first-hand on this trip, but I will sum it up with one word, awesome,” said Gebel. “Jamie and I want to thank the Denver Board of Education for allowing Denver students and community members the opportunity to experience this educational trip. World Classrooms was an outstanding partner and we hope that we can team with them again in the near future to provide this opportunity to more individuals in the Denver community.”
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