Good Hope students hit D.C.

 Nathan McCluskey
Hopefully the students will be able to make connections in their lives from this trip and it will be an inspiration to be a good citizen of this great country in which we live.”
Nathan McCluskey


GOOD HOPE – On Sunday, May 1, sixth-grade students from Good Hope Middle School boarded a bus bound for Washington D.C. Even though it was 4:45 in the morning, the kids were bright-eyed and super excited to be leaving on their special trip.

“The trip was just for sixth-grade students,” said Nathan McCluskey, sixth-grade social studies teacher. “We have been going on the trip from Good Hope to D.C. for about 20 years.  Charlene White was in charge of taking groups in the past.  She retired last year and I am now in charge of the trip,” he smiled. 

“During the trip the students get to see and do things that most only get to read about in books or see on the news.  Hopefully the students will be able to make connections in their lives from this trip and it will be an inspiration to be a good citizen of this great country in which we live.”

The students were in Washington D.C. for a whole week. During that time, they visited dozens of historic places. Their days were packed with museums, monuments and tours. The following is a list of all the places and things they got to experience: 

Mount Vernon, Metrorail (subway), Washington National Cathedral, Ghost Tour of Historic Alexandria, Monticello, Michee’s Tavern, Ford’s Theater, Peterson House, Ashlawn Highlands, Arlington National Cemetery, Capitol Hill, Embassy Row, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Korean Veteran’s Memorial, Lafayette Park, Lincoln Memorial, Marine Corp Memorial, National Archives, National Gallery of Art, National Holocaust Memorial (Daniel’s Story), National World War II Memorial , Smithsonian Museums (National Air & Space, National Botanical Gardens, National Museum of American History, National Museum of the American Indian, and National Museum of Natural History), “Twilight Tattoo,” Union Station, United States Capitol & Visitor’s Center, Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, Washington Monument, White House and the Women in Vietnam Memorial.

When asked what else took place during the trip the kids were sure to remember, McCluskey scratched his head and thought a minute.

“I have had so many different answers to this question that it would be impossible to answer.  Many students have mentioned the tour of the National Cathedral.  Others talked about touring the Capitol Building, Ford’s Theater and watching the “Twilight Tattoo.”  The students also loved getting to meet and interact with members of the Army and have their photos made with them.

“It's hard to say one thing that the kids enjoyed the most,” McCluskey grinned. “Some would say that they enjoyed the subway the most.  Others enjoyed visiting and comparing the homes of the Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Monroe.  I have had several of the students tell me the favorite part of the trip was the food,” he chuckled. “We do eat some very good food on the trip.  I would just have to say that the students really enjoyed the entire trip.”

After an action-packed week, the trip came to a close. The sleepy group of children boarded the bus and left for Alabama on Friday evening, May 6. They rode overnight on Friday and arrived in Good Hope around 4:45 a.m. Saturday morning. As with all the other sixth graders over the years, the group went back to school the following Monday and jabbered about their vacation to the other students at school, as the current fifth graders grew excited and made mental plans of their upcoming trip to D.C. this time next year.

Good Hope sixth graders weren’t the only local group to visit Washington, D.C. this year. Two days after the Good Hope crew arrived home, the sixth-grade class from East Elementary took off via Amtrak. EES’ trip was documented on Twitter using the hashtag #EESDC16.