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SCVi goes to Washington

Posted: May 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.

A group of students from Santa Clarita Valley International pose with Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita on the steps of the Capital in Washington, D.C., on Friday, as part of a field trip organized by the school.

Editor’s note: Paige Guarino was one of 50 Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School students who spent a week in Washington, D.C., as part of a field trip organized by the school. The inaugural trip included visits to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, monuments and memorials (Lincoln, Vietnam and Korean), Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, Ford’s Theatre, Newseum, a Kennedy Center performance and the White House. The students also got a chance to meet with U.S. Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, and take a photo with him on the east steps of the Capitol Building. The following is an excerpt from Paige’s blog.

By Paige Guarino
For The Signal

Tuesday, April 12: “Today, we have had a packed day. Throughout this trip, I have been very impressed with the amount of monuments we can travel to in one day without feeling rushed.

“Today, one of the monuments we went to was Mount Vernon. I was amazed with the artifacts and culture I had the privilege to see and hear about. After Mount Vernon, we headed to the gothic cathedral, our National Cathedral.

“The inside of the church was mesmerizing; from the length to the architecture, the building was marvelous.

“When we finished touring the National Cathedral, we made our way down to the zoo. At the zoo we learned about the panda exhibit. The zoo has two pandas that China has loaned to us.

“They (China) ensure that we have two pandas, but if the pandas have a baby, it has to go back to China.

“Next, we went to The Smithsonian Museum; I was blown away with the amount of artifacts I ran into just a few feet from the door.”

Friday, April 14: “While we were in Washington, D.C., having the experiences of our lives, we had the opportunity to meet Buck McKeon.

“When we met him, we not only got the chance to take a picture with Mr. McKeon, but we also got to question him and put ourselves in his shoes. From what I learned, I found it very interesting that he came to be a congressman after starting as an everyday teacher in Santa Clarita.

“He strongly encouraged us to stay in our charter school for better education and better opportunities for the future.”

April 14: “I just came back to the bus from the Arlington National Cemetery. It was gigantic! There was tombstone after tombstone. I learned that if there was a name on the back of the tombstone then that meant there are two people buried in that place, one coffin on top of the other.

“Back in the day, you could pay for a bigger tombstone for the man/woman who died, but now you can’t. Another thing that I had the opportunity to attend was the laying of the wreaths and the changing of the guard at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. ... The experience was riveting; to be able to watch the technique and hear the commands that the soldiers presented was amazing.”

Paige Guarino is a student at Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School in Castaic.


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