The KPBSD Migrant Education Program went on a long-awaited trip to Washington D.C. through the Close Up program. The trip was sponsored by Title I-C (Migrant Education), and gave 14 migrant students from the Kenai Peninsula an opportunity to have an academic experience, while learning life skills and forming new relationships. Our migrant specialists chaperoned the trip and noted incredible personal growth from each student as the week progressed. In fact, the group of students is eagerly planning a get together in December to continue developing their relationships that were formed through the trip.
Originally scheduled for the spring of 2020 but postponed due to pandemic travel restrictions, the students were finally able to attend in November of 2021. Close Up is an incredible student travel experience that allows students to visit our nation’s capital, meet congressional representatives, and see numerous historical sites. From the moment they landed in Washington D.C., their days and evenings were packed full of learning and new experiences. Highlights from the trip include:
meeting Congressman Don Young, Senator Dan Sullivan, and one of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s aides—Brian Dusek—who talked a lot with the participants, and is a Soldotna High School Class of 2017 graduate!
Experiencing history through a new perspective, the focus for Washington D.C. trips has been the inclusion of women and people of color in American History.
Sitting on the steps of Capital Building and learning about our government in action, and visiting historical landmarks like the Washington Monument, Mount Vernon, Historic Williamsburg, along with the Lincoln Memorial and many others.
Curiosity and Inquiry
Students were overheard wondering why certain people and wars get memorials, asking critical thinking questions about who has access to our countries history, along with the exclamation of awe when they were actually standing next to the Washington Monument. Many students wanted more time in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and enjoyed learning in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Students came back to Alaska eager for new opportunities and excited to continue learning. This type of experience that weaves academic, life skills, and engagement together is incredible for student success. We are so happy that we could make this experience possible!
From Senator Dan Sullivan’s November 29, 2021, social media post:
“It’s always the highlight of my day when I get to meet with young Alaskans. I welcomed a group of students from the Kenai Peninsula visiting our nation’s capital with the Close Up Program. It was great to take some questions and hear about their goals and plans for the future.”
“After high school, I still don’t know what I’ll be doing, but after DC, I know there are so many opportunities I can do. I’ve always loved meeting new people and trying new things, But Washington D.C is something I could have never imagined.” –Clavdia Kulikov
Story contributed by Jessica Scogin, KPBSD Federal Programs Coordinator
Photos provided by Jessica Scogin, and Senator Dan Sullivan’s Facebook page post