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Ms. Valdez's Chicago Trip

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Hello my name is Juanita Valdez and I am a 7th grade teacher at Denver Center for International Studies at Montbello.  My students and I are planning an educational trip for my students to go to Chicago.  If my students receive donations many of them will have their first travelling experience.  Unfortunately, a great number of my students are not allowed this opportunity due to financial restraints.  The majority of my students are Free and Reduced Lunch and have never been on an airplane or left the state of Colorado and it would be regrettable that these students would be unable to travel simply because they did not have the money.  Not only is the purpose of this trip to provide students with the chance to see more of this great nation, but to also teach these students that hard work will eventually pay off.  Additionally, this trip to Chicago will provide my students with an experiential learning opportunity.  Currently, our school does not have the funds to purchase a time machine so our excursion to the Field Museum will serve as the next best thing.  On this excursion students will see historical artifacts from ancient civilizations such as Egypt, the Americas as well as the diverse cultures in Africa which they have learned and read about in the classroom. 

The scholarship money will be used to help students with airfare, food, lodging, and admission fees.  Students will also raise their own money through fundraisers such as a McDonald’s fundraiser where teachers and students will volunteer an hour or more of their time and learn how to work in the fast food industry.  Students will also raise money by selling chocolates, school carwashes, and a school talent show.  There are a number of students that also plan to take part in the Gift of Travel fundraising option where students’ neighbors, friends, and family can gift monetary donations towards their travel expenses.

Upon our return, the students that have participated in the Chicago trip will present photos and stories about what they have learned while in Chicago to the whole school as well as take part in a panel discussion to create a dialogue between students that have already taken the trip and potential candidates for the following year’s trip.  Not only will this panel inform students about what they have learned during their trip, but the discussion will be used as a tool to help ease any anxieties for future travelers with safety, security, or monetary concerns.


Juanita Valdez
Aurora, CO

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