By Morgan Bryce
Fifth-grade students from Opelika City schools recently returned from a week-long field trip to Washington, D.C. that was full of learning experiences and visits to some of the United States’ most treasured landmarks.
The annual class trip, in its sixth year, was organized and coordinated by Northside Middle School teacher Teresa Ponder. Members of Ponder’s class were assigned a soldier whose name they were to find on the Vietnam War memorial, and write a letter to thank them for their service.
“We got to go to Jamestown and Williamsburg and observe the daily life of people during colonial times. Then, for our D.C. portion of the trip, we got to go see the White House, Lincoln Memorial among others,” Ponder said. “And for the class project, the kids found the name of the veteran they chose for their project on the wall and placed a letter and carnation flower in front of their soldier’s name, as well as sketching the soldier’s name and years of service.”
Fifth-grader Jake Mitchell said he felt that the trip was both an exciting and educational experience for he and his classmates.
“I had a fun trip. We got to see some places that we learned about in school, and I found my veteran’s name on the wall, who also is from Opelika,” Mitchell said.
Ponder is already in the early stages of planning next year’s trip and has already made the upcoming group of fifth graders in the city schools aware of the 2017 trip.
“I think that this trip is beneficial to both the students and teachers that go. I believe it gives us a better appreciation of American government and our history,” Ponder said.