Some local children will study American history where it occurred during a trip to Boston next spring.
Forty-one fifth-grade students from Helen M. Knight Elementary School will make the journey – if they can raise enough money. That’s why fundraising efforts are continuing to help each youngster cover the $1,000 cost.
“We’re hoping to have historically literate fifth-graders,” said teacher Kathryn Jackson.
All the students in Jackson’s class and the fifth-grade class taught by Jamie Carter hope to make the journey. A few children from other fifth-grade classrooms at the school also want to make the trip, Jackson said.
The two teachers, both of whom have been to Boston and have seen historic sites, came up with the mobile education plan and received approval from school and state officials.
“History will no longer be abstract,” Carter said. “It will be right there and you can touch it.”
Renee and Mike Troutt’s twin sons, Bryant and Brayden, are among those headed to the East Coast. Renee Troutt said the trip will offer several benefits for the kids.
“It will help students understand the lessons they are learning,” she said. “It will show them the practical and meaningful implications, and they will gain an appreciation of our American heritage.”
Although her children have traveled before, Renee noted that many of the students will be visiting a new region of the country for the first time.
“It will be life-changing for them to see there are other places out there,” she said.
Helen M. Knight Elementary’s fifth-grade history curriculum stretches from the War of 1812 to the present day. In Boston, students will be able to follow the Freedom Trail, which includes the route of Paul Revere’s famous ride and 15 other important locations.
The students and 18 chaperones will fly from Denver to Boston on May 14 and return May 18. The trip has been meticulously planned with attention to such details as medical release forms and even safety classes covering travel in airplanes, airports and buses, school officials said.
Carter, Jackson and grade four to six principal Taryn Kay will also accompany the students on the trip. So far, $30,000 of the needed $41,000 has been raised by the students through grants, community and business donations, and sales of Christmas wreaths, ice cream, hot chocolate, rubber duckies and “Boston or Bust” bracelets.
In addition, local restaurants have designated certain evenings when a portion of sales will be donated to the student fund.
Those who would like to help may donate $1 per ticket, available at the school, for a chance to win a piece of art on Dec. 22. Also, community members can donate directly by sending checks written to “HMK Traveling Classroom” to the school, 505 N. MiVida Dr., Moab, UT 84532.
After returning home, the students will present videos and a Power Point presentation about the trip during a special “Community Night” at the school.
“They’ll have to be accountable for their journey,” Jackson said.
“We want people to know they did learn things,” Carter added.