Throughout the trip south, eighth graders fill journals with observations and reflections. These are the raw material for scrapbooks and spoken presentations that they work on for the rest of the month.
Below is a different kind of writing: an eighth grader's hour-by-hour account of the first day. If the students' journals were blogs, then these would be one student's 'tweets':
Tuesday February 7
We are gathering in our family groups and are about to board the plane at Logan Airport!!!!!
The plane is taking off, and everyone is clapping.
Subsequent to a safe flight, the plane lands, and once again, everyone is extremely enthusiastic!
After departing the plane, we proceed in family groups to the baggage claim. Even baggage claim is fun, once we start having races.
We board the bus in Atlanta Georgia, where we meet Mr. Herb Brown, (pictured above), the bus driver for the past five Gordon Civil Rights Trips.
A few students hop off the bus with Mr. Wales and Mr. Burnstein to pick up our pre-ordered lunch from Jason’s Deli! Yummy!
We arrive at Welcome All Park, where we eat in family groups, then play on the structures, slides, swings and basketball courts. It was a great way to relax and get out our extra energy before beginning our academic adventure.
After enjoying our relaxation in the park, we board the bus for a three hour drive to Birmingham Alabama. On the bus, we have the opportunity to rest and journal after a long morning.
Mr. Brown announces our arrival in the historic city of Birmingham.
We enter the Civil Rights Institute, where we receive a tour, with beautifully moving and powerful videos, artifacts, literature and art. After the museum, we head across the street to Kelly Ingram Park (right) where the Children’s march took place in 1963.
We go to Nikki’s West for dinner, where some of us experience southern cooking for the first time: the specials tonight are catfish and fried chicken liver…
Back on the bus, we reflect on the day and drive to the hotel.
We arrive at the Hilton Garden Inn. We wait for our room numbers on the bus while listening to Mr. Burnstein’s childhood stories.
After family group meetings and a little time to be with our roommates, we go to bed after a full day. Yawn!
The cost of the trip is subsidized by the Bready-Lapides Eighth Grade Educational Trip Fund and the Class of 2003 Museum Admissions Fund.