A handful of Sedalia 200 students got to see their history books come to life during a trip to Washington, D.C., led by Smith-Cotton Junior High social studies teacher Lori Hurt.

This was the second time in the past three years that Hurt has taken eighth graders to the nation’s capital to tour the National Mall monuments, visit Arlington National Cemetery, experience Mount Vernon and more. She took about 20 students in June 2019, but the 2020 trip was sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic. Four of the students who went this year, including Anna Goodrich, were scheduled to go on the 2020 trip.

“I knew I would not be able to do that on my own,” Goodrich said. “Having a tour guide through everything made it so stress-free and easy. I don’t think I would have had the energy to do that by myself.”

The three-day, two-night trip is organized through WorldStrides. The tour service uses a charter bus to transport the group to the historical sites, with a guide helping provide background and context. Among the experiences for the students was witnessing the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery.

“It was the only time on the trip that the kids were completely quiet,” Hurt said.

Molly Miner, who will be a freshman next school year, said her favorite stop was Mount Vernon, the historic home of President George Washington.

“It was so pretty. It was easier to navigate than I thought it would be and we just had a lot of fun,” she said, adding that it was among the tour experiences that brought the nation’s history to life.

“A lot of the time when we learn about people in history they seem so far away, but if you go to Lincoln’s cottage or Mount Vernon you can you can really see who these historical figures were as people,” Miner said.

Next year’s trip is already in the planning stages for June 4-6, 2022, with about a dozen students signed up so far. While previous trips have had about 20 students participating, Hurt said there is no limit.

In the photo: Sedalia 200 district eighth and ninth graders visited the White House during their recent tour of Washington, D.C.

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