Last week, 42 eighth grade students and parents traveled across the country to Washington, D.C., Colonial Williamsburg and Philadelphia to explore and learn about our nation’s history with the educational tour company, WorldStrides.

“Being able to take kids out into the world and give them a mobile classroom experience brings the information that they have learned in class to life,” shared Mrs. Banke, staff representative for the trip. “Experiencing history firsthand will leave a lifelong impression and influence their knowledge of the material they are learning in class.”

When the group arrived on the east coast, they started their journey in Colonial Williamsburg and then Historic Jamestown where they were transported back in time to imagine what life was like for those living at the time. The Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg, a 200-year-old fully functioning town restored to its original colonial design, stretches over 301 acres and includes 88 original 18th-century structures. The group spent the day touring the Governor’s Palace – home to the seven royal governors and learning about historic trades – blacksmith, farming and apothecary.

From there they drove back up to Washington, D.C. and visited the Arlington National Cemetery to pay their respects to the hundreds of thousands of brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country. “Being at the Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier impacted the students,” continued Banke. “We observed the changing of the guards, as well as a wreath-laying ceremony honoring fallen soldiers.”

Other sites that were visited included the White House, the State Capitol, the National Archives, Ford’s Theatre and Peterson House, Gettysburg, Valley Forge, American History Museum, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. “In the nation’s Capitol, it was very humbling to stand in the footsteps of these national heroes,” added Banke. Students explored George Washington’s estate, the mansion he shared with Martha and an education center that showcases our first president as a farmer and businessman.

In the evenings the group went to the Iwo Jima Marine Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War and Vietnam Veterans Memorials, the Jefferson Memorial and the World War II memorials.