2009-10-22 / News

Lawn School eighth-graders kick off fundraising for D.C. trip

By Dara Chadwick

This fall, Lawn Avenue School eighth-graders have been learning about the history of the U.S. government, the founding fathers and government in action.

Later this year, with the help of a huge fundraising effort, the students will take their learning to a new level as they embark on a four-day trip to the nation’s capital.

“This trip gives our students a chance to see government come alive,” Lawn School Principal Kathy Almanzor said. “They get to go and experience their government at work.”

The annual eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C. – this year marks the fifth such trip – is a much-anticipated chance for students to spend “one last time together” before they officially become high school students, Almanzor said.

But funding such an experience isn’t cheap: Cost for the trip, which includes transportation, meals, lodging and a full itinerary of visits and activities, is a minimum of $500 per student.

To help defray the cost to individual families, students will soon kick off a months-long fundraising campaign that will include everything from bake sales and car washes to donation solicitation letters and other seasonal events.

“We will have ongoing fundraising now through April,” said Maryann Carr Toppa, an eighthgrade parent who is spearheading the trip’s organization and fundraising efforts. “The kids really look forward to going.”

Fundraising activities will begin this weekend with a bake sale on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the recreation center, in conjunction with the “Chalk Around the Block” sidewalk art event. Anyone who would like to donate baked goods to be sold can drop them off at 12:30. Another bake sale will be held on Sunday, Oct. 25, at the recreation center during the town’s Jack O’Lantern Jog.

Toppa said area businesses and organizations will soon receive letters asking them to donate funds to help defray the cost of the trip.

The trip will include visits to Arlington National Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, FDR Memorial, World War II Memorial and Jefferson Memorial. Students will also visit the Capitol, the Washington Monument, Mt. Vernon, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, the National Cathedral and Embassy Row, among other sites and activities.

“It’s a beautiful city and they get to see all that there is to offer. They get to see the monuments at night and they have a dance with other middle-school students,” Almanzor said. “It’s social, yet educational.”

For more information about the trip or to make a donation, contact Maryann Carr Toppa at carrtoppa@cox.net.

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