(contributed by Cecil Kribs, Retired Principal, Eugene School District)
Research has shown what those involved with student travel already know. Travel brings the classroom curriculum alive, inspiring students to learn through first-hand, interactive experiences. It provides a connection between the classroom content and the “real world”. Their curiosity is stimulated and their knowledge expanded.
With the fun, interactive nature of group travel, students also acquire important values and social skills. Cooperation, open-mindedness, motivation, attentiveness, independence, and money management are just a few of the attributes and life skills students experience. Educational institutions and employers recognize travel as an important personal development experience and a way of creating greater understanding in our world.
These are all great reasons for student travel, but the most important reason is that it provides young people with an unforgettable experience to stand at the sites where historic events shaped and continue to shape our nation. To stand at the feet of Lincoln, Jefferson or FDR and read their words, to stand in the room where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were debated and written, to walk up the steps where thousands of our immigrant ancestors walked, these experiences bring US history alive and are never forgotten.
When I ask students, “What is the best thing so far?” There is always a pause as the student considers the question then responds “Everything!”