Gilder Lehrman Visits Nation’s Capitol

Students pose with a statue of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was elected four times as president despite being confined to a wheelchair.  Photo courtesy of Aaron Pimentel

Students pose with a statue of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was elected four times as president despite being confined to a wheelchair. Photo courtesy of Aaron Pimentel

By ALYSSA JONES-LUTCHMAN and TEYANA JACKSON

Students of the Gilder Lehrman Program traveled to Washington D.C May 20-21 to take in the sights and learn about American history. 

For the students, the trip was free, because Midwood teachers raised money for them. The 35 students and the chaperones attending got there by coach bus. Two of the chaperones were Mr. Matthew Bonavita and Mr. Eugene Resnick.

Before leaving, Nyuda Brown ’19 said, “I am going for the experience because I’ve never been to D.C.” 

Ydeline Michel ’19 said, “I’ve been in the program since the beginning, and I’ve been looking forward to this experience.” 

The group left at 12pm, around the end of sixth period. The drive was about four hours with a stop for buffet lunch at Golden Corral along the way. Afterward, the plan was to sightsee for about three hours. Some of the first sites  the group visited were the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. 

After their first taste of the nation’s capitol,  the students headed back to Maryland to stay in a hotel. After a free hotel breakfast early the next morning, the students were back on the bus to D.C. at 8am.

“We visited four different museums, and we got to spend a good amount of time in each,” said Madison Diaz ’19. “Mr. Bonavita and the other teachers were really cool about it. They gave us time to discover the museum.”

Rickey Hill ’19 said, “We saw the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, Lincoln’s statue, the Vietnam Memorial, the National Air and Space Museum, the African American Museum, and the Smithsonian Museum.”

He continued, “We saw famous African American figures and what they meant to the black community. We saw the history of African Americans from slavery to present.”

Diaz said, “I learned a lot, especially in the Space Museum. It was definitely my favorite out of all of them, because it was so informative but also incredibly intriguing.”

Mr. Bonavita said, “We’ve done this for 13 years. It’s a reward for the Gilder Lehrman kids and a good opportunity to see the nation’s capital.”

Hill said, “The trip was fun and interesting. The overall experience was great. I’d never heard about those museums until I went on the trip.”

Diaz said, “It was an amazing experience, and I really wish it had lasted longer because the energy of the whole trip was just great.”

“The overall experience is definitely something that you wouldn’t experience with most other schools, which is because of the teachers and the students who I went with,” Diaz said. “The teachers were relaxed but also set on their rules, so it made it easier to have fun and be around them. The museums were incredibly interesting, and I would definitely want to go again to each one if I got the chance.”

NewsCasey Levinson