CMS Spends Two Days at the United States Capital

74 Community Middle Schoolers travel to Washington D.C. for the 8th Grade Trip

Washington D.C. is the political epicenter of the United States, overflowing with history and landmarks, making it the perfect destination for an end-of-the-school-year trip for the eighth graders at Community Middle School (CMS). The CMS students spent two days in the capital filled with educational and enriching experiences led by Gerber Tours.

“Our students were enthusiastic and true ambassadors for the Bound Brook School District,” said Mrs. Diaz, CMS Language Arts teacher and advisor for the trip.

From core courses to electives, the curriculum at CMS is steeped in history and how students can learn from it. The landmarks and museums visited helped students visualize these lessons.

“We read stories about the Holocaust like ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas’ in our language arts courses,” said Mrs. Taylor. “So, my favorite experience with my students is the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Although it is a truly horrific time in history, it inspires the students to confront hatred and promote humanity.”

Students study a unit in language arts called The Move Toward Freedom, where students learn about historical figures like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, and dissect Walt Whitman’s poem about Abraham Lincoln, “Oh Captain, My Captain.” All of these lessons come to life at the Lincoln Memorial.

Students visited the Capitol Hill area, including the U.S. Capitol Building, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress. There students reflected on the role of government, the structures of government, and the American legal system — all topics learned in their civics and social studies courses.

Included on the itinerary were visits to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial and WWII Memorial; Arlington National Cemetery, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. While sightseeing, students stopped to pose for photos in front of the White House.

In preparation, students held fundraisers to offset the costs of the trip. Students hosted bake sales throughout the school year and a pie sale around Thanksgiving, where a portion of the sales were dedicated toward the price of the trip. This year, the class raised $2400 at a community-wide dodge ball tournament.

For almost a decade, CMS has visited Washington D.C. with the eighth-grade class. This traditional yearly visit cements lessons learned during the school year and provides students with a picturesque view of our nation and the history behind it.