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Eighth-Graders Visit Washington, D.C.

It was a whirlwind trip, but when the entire eighth-grade class visited Washington, D.C., Oct. 2-4, they took in as many cultural and historical sites as they could fit in. 

But it wasn’t just about sightseeing. The trip was designed to align with the school’s mission to prepare students to thrive in a complex and interdependent world; to develop authentic connections to Lead From Here, with a focus on Changing Your World; and to connect with curricular themes of empowerment and Ravens in Action, the Middle School capstone experience that engages eighth-graders in civic discourse and service.

Anna Haywood ’24 shared these reflections on her experience.  

A couple of weeks ago, as a grade, we went on a trip to Washington, D.C. It was a lot of fun, and I learned so much! We saw many monuments, including the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. We also visited several museums: the Newseum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Air and Space Museum, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 

My favorite tour was the night tour of monuments. All of the monuments look so different at night, and it’s fascinating to see them lit up. My favorite museum was the Holocaust Museum. It was a lot to take in, but it was my favorite because at the end of the museum we met three women who survived the Holocaust. It was very interesting to hear their stories about the Holocaust since they lived through it. We could ask them questions, talk to them and just hear what happened from their story. One of the survivors, named Ruth, said this: “It is my obligation to tell my story, and yours to make sure this never happens again.” This really stuck with me and my peers. 

Right now in Language Arts we’re reading a book about the Holocaust and we’re also talking about how there is never a single story to any event. Every person has their own thoughts and feelings, and it is not fair to only hear one story from such a massive catastrophe. We also finished up our World War I, World War II and Holocaust units of study before the trip, so this trip was perfectly timed with what we’re learning.