Two dozen MPA Middle School students added on to the school year with a week-long exploration of colonial history and our nation’s founding, joining Mr. Peters, Ms. Burgess, and instructors from the Close Up Foundation on a trip to historical sites in Virginia, Philadelphia, and Gettysburg.
After a quick peek at Arlington National Cemetery and the Jefferson Memorial, students and faculty traveled by bus to Colonial Williamsburg in southeast Virginia, where they met their Close Up instructors and the students from Texas and Minnesota with whom they would be traveling for the week. Students spent the day on the grounds of Colonial Williamsburg, experiencing what life was like during colonial times. During the middle of the day, the actor playing Thomas Jefferson passionately read the Declaration of Independence and led a short lesson of why he wrote those words all those years ago. It was a warm day, but the homemade chicken pot pie was a hit with our students.
The next day, the group headed back north to the D.C. area to visit Mount Vernon, George Washington’s plantation home. Walking the grounds and visiting the grave and home of this great man was a moving experience. In the afternoon, we headed to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to explore how our nation fought through the Civil War and the union was preserved.
The trip concluded with a few days in in Philadelphia, a great place to visit for American history. In Independence Hall, students stood in the same room where our founding fathers came together with different views of government and what it meant to be a citizen and committed a treasonous act against the strongest government in the world.