Help me give my students the gift of discovery by sending deserving students to France!
We teach 8th-grade students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As a group they are bright, talented, and engaged in their learning. We strive to give all our students the same learning opportunities in the classroom, however much of what kids learn is as a result of experiences outside the classroom. We live in a college town and many of our students are the sons and daughters of educators and other professionals who can afford to provide their children the opportunity to travel and learn beyond the classroom.
But we also have a number of students from low-income families whose parents can't afford to give their kids the same opportunities.
Our goal is to give as many of our students as possible a chance to travel and experience the language, culture, history, and art of another country.
For the past seven years, eighth graders at our middle school have had the opportunity to tour a number of European destinations. This year our itinerary is a 12-day grand tour of France beginning in Provence, heading westward into the Dordogne region, northward into the Loire Valley, and finally east again into Paris. Our route will trace 26,000 years of human history from the neolithic cave art of Lascaux, to the Roman enclaves of Arles and Nimes, to Medieval and Renaissance wonders such as Carcassonne and Chambord, all the way up to WWII and modern-day Paris.
It will provide an immersion into the language, culture, art, architecture, and cuisine of France―it is the culmination of subjects they’ve learned in their three years at our school as well as a foundation of knowledge and experiences they’ll carry into high school, college, and beyond.
Travel teaches independence and responsibility, gives young people a new perspective on the world in which they live, and helps them gain cultural sensitivity. In a word, it makes kids more worldly. The skills they'll learn are particularly important to students planning to go to college and especially to those students who may be the first in their families to go to college.
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