Why should Title 1 Schools go on High End Field Trips?

Why should Title 1 schools go on High End Field Trips?

Guest Post by: Craig Rapinchuk

            Many of you know that I have taught in the Florida Public School system for the last 6 years. Some may know that the last 6 years have been spent at a Title 1 school where 85% of my students (or more) were considered to be economically disadvantaged. In order for our students to go on the trip the following MUST happen:

1. Signed permission slip with emergency information.

2. A fee to purchase the use of the busses and entrance into the parks.

3. The parents’ ability to pick them up after 6PM or later.

            This year our fees were much lower because of the generosity of the theme park, so it only cost $5.00 per student. Last time we attended it cost $20.00. So this is quite a drop in the pocket when you consider what some of these parents can afford, not to mention that each child needed to provide dinner, and some chose to allow their kids to feel special and have spending money. So this can be upwards of $25.00. So to answer the question as to why we need to take these kids to these places, listen to the comments I have had in the past two trips!

“Mr. R? I never knew that a polar bear was this large. I figured they were only as big as a large dog.”

“Mr. R? Did you know that this roller coaster uses gravity after we are pulled up to the top so we can ride down the hill? Do you think I could get a job designing roller coasters?  I think I need to pay better attention in science and math then. I am sorry I have played around.”  BTW-Changed student.

“Mr. R? I have never been outside of our city before. I think I would like to travel to more places because if only one town is this awesome, then other towns could be tons cooler!”

“Mr. R? Do think this place could be considered a zoo? It does have animals. I would consider it a zoo. Cause I have never ever been to a zoo in my entire life! I have to see every animal here.” This student was able to get behind some of the scenes because of our guided tour on the field trip. While I was speaking with the tour guide who was expecting like my wife, I asked a few questions and the child above was mentioned. So this tour guide took this student behind every area and allowed him to pet a Dolphin, Sea Turtle, Sting Ray, Shark, and some peacock. After words the following discussion took place: “Mr. R? Yes!! Do you think I could become a worker here or somewhere where animals are kept? Yes you can do this. Well I have never even seen these animals before let alone touch them and I have never been happier in my life before today I figured it was because I found my purpose in life”

“Mr. R? Yes? I have never been on a roller coaster before; I don’t think I will ever go on one again unless our field trip next year is to a place where one is. My parents don’t even take me to the park because they don’t have the time. Can you ask next year’s teachers to take us here again?”

          It is hard to fathom such responses from a child. Imagine never having gone to a zoo, or never having the opportunity to ride a roller coaster! Although these things sounds like just plain fun you can see the educational responses prompted from our “fun”! I remember all of my field trips as a child, and I learned something from each one of them. Taking away field trips, especially for a reason such as “the students can’t monetarily afford it”, is sad to see and helps no one. A school can find many affordable field trips for their children to learn and invest in those students’ lives.

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3 Comments

  1. Teresa Moore says:

    We live in Florida. Last year my daughter went to a Title 1 elementary school. I know every grade had a field trip last year. I was part of the PTO and we held little fundraisers for a bag of popcorn or sno-cones to raise money for some of the field trips for the upper elementary grades. My daughter’s kindergarten class went to a strawberry farm where they got to pick strawberries and see farm animals. I went that day and the kids had the most fun!

  2. As a teacher in an urban middle school with predominantly low-income families, I cannot reinforce how important it is to have field trips as part of the curriculum. We rely heavily on grants and donors, but also work and negotiate with companies to partner with us because of our population of students, and have had success with many– the worst that can happen is that you ask, and they say “no”. We even had a local apple orchard agree to give their girls bags to pick apples for only $5 (rather than the going rate of $15) so they could experience a real working farm/orchard and learn about healthy foods.

    Hands-on learning is critical, nevermind being fun and engaging!! 🙂

  3. Jennifer Jean says:

    The student comments make me happy and sad at the same time. I feel kids need to go on field trips…especially title one. I just wish our county understood also. This may be the last year we get to do our concer at another school field trip. The county is cutting back on during the day field trips. They said we would have to do it after school or on Saturday.

    I think it is awesome the Theme park allowes the kids to go free. Glad they had fun

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