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Registration Opens for Student Tour to Washington D.C. and Williamsburg

Photo from last year's trip
Photo from last year's trip

Registration is now open for the annual spring vacation student tour to the nation’s capital.  

The trip, which is open to area middle and high school students, grades eight and above, has become an annual tradition and will celebrate its 37th year of operation in 2014.  

The non-school activity is sponsored by local teachers and has involved  more than 14,000 students during the past three decades, including a “second generation” of participants whose parents participated when they were students! 

Four informational *meetings have been scheduled during the coming weeks to provide an overview of the trip and answer questions parents may have. Each meeting lasts one hour and parents may attend any meeting:

  • Sequoia/Sycamore Cyn Middle Schools, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 24th in the Sequoia Multi Purpose Room
  • Colina/Redwood Middle Schools, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday,  September 25th in the Colina Multi Purpose Room
  • Lindero Canyon & Medea Creek  Schools, 2 p.m, Sunday,  September 29th in the Community Room at the Oak Park Recreation Center, 1000 Kanan Rd.
  • A.E. Wright/A.C. Stelle Middle Schools, 2 p.m., Sunday, October 6th at Calabasas City Library Founders Room

“We have learned so much from the past years, that we have been able to continually ‘fine tune’ our itinerary to insure the best trip possible," said Tom Johnsen, one of the trip organizers, in a press release. 

Despite significant increases in airfares, trip organizers have been able to keep the cost below what is charged for similar tours in neighboring school districts with the entire cost, including airfare, lodging, all meals, evening activities, sightseeing and tips, is $1,635.  

Applications will be taken on-line” at TravelEd2DC.com. This is a non school activity and is conducted during spring vacation.  

Johnsen, who taught advanced placement government classes at Calabasas High School and coached mock trial teams, works with area teachers and school administrators in their “off hours” planning the trip.  The teachers agree that, whereas, the trip is an exciting adventure for the students, the primary goal is education.

“We develop the itinerary as if it were a lesson plan,” he said.  

Johnsen is joined by former Las Virgenes educator Don Zimring. 

“We know that the students will have fun, but we also know that this can be an incredible opportunity for teaching as well,” Zimring said in a press release. 

To this end, pre-trip classes are conducted to help the students better appreciate what they will see and experience.  

“During the classes we review everything from the history of the city to contemporary issues before Congress,” Zimring said. “When they arrive, they aren’t just looking at buildings; rather they are entering a huge classroom geared for non-stop learning."   

Students will visit the familiar sights in Washington, including the monuments, memorials, the National Holocaust Museum, the Newseum and even attend a performance at the Kennedy Center.   

As in past years, students will also visit Colonial Williamsburg, a town that exists just as it did in 1775. 

“To visit Williamsburg is to walk back into history”,   Johnsen said in the release. “It is living history at its best and has consistently been a highlight of the tour.“

Local educators Steve White, Phalba Thomas, Bonnie Eichen, Marilyn Fine and Ray Ballard will also be traveling with the students. 

For further information, parents may contact Johnsen at 805-499-1569 or Don Zimring at 818-920-9059. Information may also be obtained via the internet at www.traveled2dc.com.

*The trip is a non-school activity. School sites do not have information or materials

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