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Students aim to see inauguration

Academy of the Canyons pupils raise funds for trip

Posted: July 5, 2008 12:58 a.m.
Updated: September 5, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 

Students can learn a lot about history by reading a textbook, but 42 students at Academy of the Canyons want to actually watch history unfold by attending the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. this January.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it comes at a cost of roughly $90,000, or $2,000 per student. The students have been holding yard sales, bowl-a-thons and soliciting local businesses to raise money, but more is needed, according to Academy of the Canyons social studies teacher Robert Walker.

“Even if we don’t hit the $90,000, if we could raise half of it, we could cut the cost in half for these students, making it a reality for most of them,” Walker said.

Academy of the Canyons is a middle college high school located at College of the Canyons in Valencia. All students are in eleventh or twelfth grade and take college courses along with their high school classes.
Walker offered the trip to all incoming seniors, and almost half of them signed up.

“I mentioned it and the response was overwhelming — from both students and their parents,” Walker said. “It’s one thing to read about government in a textbook. It’s another thing to be there and actually witness it.”

Walker’s students are excited about the upcoming November election because of the trip, he said.
“I’m getting e-mails from them with questions about the election — and it’s summer,” Walker said.

The students have raised around $5,500 so far, and are planning a silent auction this fall to raise more. Local businesses can help by donating an item for the auction. The deadline to donate is the end of August.

“We’re going to try to make this a really great event,” Walker said. “We’ve got a lot of money to raise, but I think we can do it.”

Walker hopes that the students who make the trip get a more realistic understanding of government and a deeper appreciation for our’s nation’s heritage.

“I don’t care who wins (the election) — whenever you get a new president it’s history in the making,” Walker said.

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