A lesson in civics: Eighth graders raise money so their peers can attend class trip to Washington, D.C.
When Liam Fogerty was in eighth grade, his peers descended on the nation’s capital for a trip that often closes the book on a year learning U.S. history.
But Fogerty didn’t get to go.
“My family couldn’t afford it, but a number of my friends went, and it was a very cool experience,” Fogerty recalled.
Now an instructor at Steamboat Springs Middle School, Fogerty is teaching U.S. history to eighth graders, whom he hopes to take to Washington, D.C., at the end of the school year. But, like him at that age, not every student can afford to go.
“My focus has been the whole time I’ve been setting up this trip is to get it as accessible as humanly possible,” Fogerty said. “There is a lot of money in this community, and the idea is if the kids put in some work, and we canvas properly, we can find some money to raise.”
So far, the students have organized a couple of smaller fundraising efforts at the middle school and had some success. The group has already partnered with a local business that held a fundraiser for the students and raised about $3,000.
Fogerty said the plan is to see Charlottesville and Williamsburg in Virginia, as well as hitting many of the monuments and historical sites around Washington.
“We’ll do a conversation with colonial actors about whether or not we should rebel against Great Britain,” Fogerty said. “We’re going to the Capitol Building and will hopefully write a letter to our state representatives and see if we can get a personal tour.”
In all, the trip is expected to cost roughly $2,300 per student, which includes airfare, ground travel expenses, meals and security for the group while they travel, though Fogerty recommends the students have some spending money, as well.
While only about six students need financial assistance, Fogerty said about 15 of them are working to raise money.
In all, they hope to gather around $10,000 by March 1. An anonymous donation of $2,500 and previous efforts have them halfway to that goal.
“We’re just really excited about giving kids that might not otherwise have an opportunity to travel that opportunity,” Fogerty said. “I have complete faith that we are going to be able to get these students to go on that trip.”
Anyone who’s interested in helping can contact Liam Fogerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Steamboat Springs Middle School at 970-879-1058 and ask to leave a message for him.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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