As the second academic quarter draws to a close this week at 21st Century Charter School @ Gary, high school students are busy studying and taking finals.  Downstairs in the middle school wing, however, nineteen middle school students from 21cc and nine from another GEO school, Pikes Peak Prep, are preparing for an exciting event approaching on the horizon– the first GEO-organized 8th grade Washington, D.C. trip! These 8th graders are paying for half of the cost of the trip, while GEO Foundation is subsidizing the rest.

Activities planned for this four-day trip in early April include visits to historic sites like the Vietnam Veterans, Korean War, National World War II, Iwo Jima, Lincoln, Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorials, and visits to the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Smithsonian Museums.  Students will witness the changing of the guards at Arlington National Cemetery, and walk the beautiful grounds of Mt. Vernon Cemetery.  The students will have a chance to meet the Congressmen who represent their respective hometowns on the steps of the White House, before touring the National Archives and other spots on Capitol Hill, including the Supreme Court and Library of Congress.  Also included in this packed trip is a tour at Howard University that includes a scavenger hunt!

These students – from Gary, IN and Colorado Springs, CO – will be meeting in person for the first as they arrive in our nation’s capital.  21st Century Charter students and chaperones will be taking an overnight bus from Gary, IN, while the Coloradans from Pikes Peak Prep will make their journey by plane to meet the Gary scholars in D.C.  As way of introduction, both schools will engage in a box exchange in the upcoming weeks, packing up tokens that represent parts of their unique city and students to show each other what they’re all about.  Stay tuned to see what each school decides to include in their package!