By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
ALTON — After three years of fundraising and almost as many years of administrative indecision, 27 students of the Alton Central School leave Wednesday night for their graduation trip to Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery.
The school trip to Washington has been in the making since 2014 when some of the then fifth-graders came up with the idea as a senior class trip.
Fundraising began that year, and in the past three years the students gathered a little over $18,000.
"I'm glad for the kids," said parent Judy Ingoldby, whose daughter was one of the students who came up with the idea.
"They've raised everything themselves," she said. "Anyone who would sit and listen to them, they went."
The trip almost went down the tubes last school year when teachers gave the seventh-grade students a confidential survey about it and reported that only four of them wanted to go to Washington, D.C.
After it was canceled by the administration, the students went before the School Board and asked them to reinstate it. After considerable discussion, the board voted 4 to 0 with one abstention to allow the students to continue with their fundraising while assuring the many taxpayers who were there that no tax dollars would be spent.
Ingoldsby said the trip was school-sanctioned until February, when the administration gave over control of the money and the fundraising to the parents.
She said she they chose an educational travel agent that has been used by other school for similar trips and all of the chaperones are parents.
Ingoldsby said Sen. Kelly Ayotte arranged for the students to have a tour of the White House Friday morning. The students will also visit Arlington National Cemetery, the Holocaust Memorial, the Capitol Center, Union Station and all of the museums on Saturday.
Kathryn Curran, Jordan Ingoldsby, Ashlyn Dalrymple helped with a fundraiser at the Alton Rotary Craft Fair in 2015. (Courtesy photo)
Jordan Ingoldsby, Mackenzie Bicknett, Ashlyn Dalrymple had a table at the Alton Home and Garden Show last year. (Courtesy photo)
Ashlyn Dalrymple, Jordan Ingoldsby, Noah Brown and Mykel Whitehouse helped the American Legion place flags on local veterans' graves for Memorial Day 2015. (Courtesy photo)
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