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PC to DC: Students tour nation’s Capitol

More than 70 middle school students took a trip to Washington D.C. May 2-6, visiting iconic monuments and memorials, museums of art and history and government buildings such as the White House, Capitol and Supreme Court building. The 72 middle school students and five chaperones traveled via bus through the night Friday, arriving in Washington Saturday morning and returning to PCMS Tuesday morning. The theme for the trip was From PC to DC. ’We had three full days of touring the capital and walked over 22 miles in those three days,’ said social studies teacher Charla Floyd. ‘We offered our students this opportunity because it’s so important that they understand the importance of our nation’s history and government. This trip gave them the opportunity to apply what they had learned in school.’ Students visited several popular monuments, including the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, FDR Memorial, World War II Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, MLK Memorial, Washington Monument, Einstein Memorial, Korean Memorial, Vietnam Wall and Pentagon 9/11 Memorial. ’Many have sacrificed life and limb for the freedoms we possess today, and our students got the opportunity to view, first-hand, the tributes our nation has erected to those people,’ said Floyd. ‘One of the most touching moments on the trip was when students shook the hands of aged veterans, most of them in wheelchairs. Many students, chaperones and veterans had tears in their eyes.  The meeting took place at the WWII memorial. Students also visited Arlington Cemetery and witnessed the changing of the guard ceremony as well as visiting the Kennedy grave site. Students visited the Holocaust Museum and viewed the children’s exhibit, Daniel’s Story. Students also saw Ford’s Theater and visited three of the Smithsonian Museums: the Air and Space Museum, Natural History Museum and American History Museum. Students visited the National Archives and saw the original Charters of Freedom Documents: the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. Students also saw the White House, Capitol and Supreme Court building. They visited Union Station and drove down Embassy Row.  ’This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see our nation’s capital with a knowledgeable tour guide sharing interesting history and anecdotes,’ Floyd said. ‘Our school system has never offered this opportunity to students and we hope to make this an annual opportunity for our seventh grade students.’ The trip was planned since the traditional Sea Camp trip was not offered this year. The cost to attend was $550. Two $250 scholarships were given to help one male and one female student with the cost of the trip. Floyd coordinated the trip and assistant principal Jeff Tharpe and teachers Brenda Richards, Ashely Carroll and Mike McNutt attended as chaperones.

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