Summer trip

Several students and parents gathered in the Woodward Middle School media center Monday night to hear a presentation from middle school teacher Amy Whitewater on a planned educational tour to New York City next June. (Photo by Johnny McMahan)

In her career as an 8th grade English teacher, Amy Whitewater has organized education trips for local students to New York City, Washington, D. C. and chaperoned a trip to Europe organized by a local high school teacher.

Whitewater is putting together another trip for June 2015 and she met with interested students and parents Monday to discuss plans for the 4-day excursion.

"We will be seeing all the tourist places in New York City. The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State building, Time Square, Central Park. We will tour NBC Studios where we will make a short video newscast," Whitewater said. "This year we will be able to tour the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The kids are always amazed at how much we can pack into four days."

One year students were even on the weather segment of the 'Today Show’ in their Eskimo Joe's shirts, Whitewater said.

"One of the most exciting moments we have had was in 2012," Whitewater noted. "We were on the ferry returning from the Statue of Liberty. The space shuttle, Endeavor, was being pulled into New York Harbor. It was surrounded by New York Fire Department boats shooting water into the air in celebration. Our ferry was right beside it."

Whitewater said the students who go on the trip will be exposed to a number of educational opportunities in pop culture, history, architecture and art.

"My goal is to give students the opportunity to see the culture in the melting pot of New York City, the history, different nationalities," she said. "They will see things on the trip that they will never get to see in Northwest Oklahoma. I want to open their eyes to traveling to other places."

Interested students must have completed sixth grade, be in good academic standing and have a clean discipline record to be eligible to go on the trip, Whitewater said. Students in middle and high school are eligible.

Sponsors for the trip will be Clint Whitewater, Amy's husband, Kelly Stewart, sixth grade geography teacher, and Lori Zimmerman, seventh grade reading teacher.

"We average 35 to 50 people on the trip. In the past I have taken parents and grandparents if there was room," Whitewater said..

The trip is booked through EF Explore America. View their website at: efexploreamerica.com/tour. The trip is not school sponsored so there will be no fundraisers. Students will pay out of pocket. Monthly payments can be setup.

For additional information Whitewater can be reached at:amwhitewater@woodwardps.net or call 580-256-7901 and leave a message.

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