Valwood in the News

Valwood School’s eighth grade class tours Washington, D.C.

November 9, 2023

October 24, 2023

HAHIRA – Eighth grade students from Valwood School explored Washington, DC last week.

This trip is the culminating activity for their American Studies class (a history and literature course that is only offered at Valwood School), the school said in a press release. The stops on this annual trip vary every year; the White House tour is not always a part of the trip, as special permission is required.

After departing on Sunday morning, the 36 students and four chaperones visited Charleston, SC, Washington, D.C., and Lancaster, Pennsylvania (Amish Country). Stops on the trip include: Mt. Vernon, Arlington Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Eisenhower Memorial, the Roosevelt Memorial, the MLK Memorial, the White House, the National Cathedral, Embassy Row, the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the Air Force Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Einstein statue, the Capitol, the Museum of the Bible, the National Archives, and the Jefferson Memorial.

In Charleston, students explored City Market, one of the oldest of its kind in the country. Their first stop in DC was Mt. Vernon, where the group toured the mansion and grounds, the museum, and paid their respects at George and Martha Washington’s tomb. Next, they headed north to Arlington Cemetery. While at Arlington, students rode in a trolley tour through the cemetery, making stops at the Kennedy gravesite, Audie Murphy’s gravesite, the USS Maine Memorial, and the Challenger and Columbia Memorials. They also had the pleasure of viewing the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At the Smithsonian, the top two exhibits were the Star-Spangled Banner and the First Ladies’ Dresses.

Mid-week, the group took a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and drove to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for a day in the Amish Country. The day started with a movie that described Amish life. After the movie, they were treated to a delicious Amish lunch and a tour of the countryside. The final stop was at the home and farm of an Amish family, where students could ask questions and buy handmade goods.

The last day in DC is always a busy one, and this year was no different. At the Vietnam Memorial, students found names of family members or family friends who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Next, they toured the Capitol, which was buzzing with activity. The tour guide shared several fun facts with the group. A new stop for the trip this year was the Museum of the Bible. Students really enjoyed the simulator experience, Washington Revelations. At the National Archives, they viewed the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

“This annual field trip is something that the lower grades look forward to and the upper grades still talk about,” the school’s press release said. “It is truly experiential. Students engage in the history of our country; they’re touching and seeing vital places and pieces of history. They reflect on their experience by creating a scrapbook full of memories and pictures from their trip. Valwood School’s small class sizes allow our students to experience this trip that they will remember for a lifetime.”