To The Daily Sun,
Over the past three years it has been reported in this paper that the students of Alton Central School's class of 2016 were raising funds for a class trip to Washington, D.C. The thought was presented to the class while they were in fifth grade, brought to the administration's attention at that time, as well and even brought to the School Board's attention as they had to get permission to raise funds for this trip. It was also approved by town selectmen that the students could hold raffles in order to raise funds for this trip.
The students presented their ideas to the PTSA, American Legion, Rotarians, Alton Business Association, candidates for U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, and governor, as well as local and county Republican committees. All were in favor of this trip and the efforts of the groups of students that brought the information to them. Not once did they hear that this was not a good and worthwhile idea. Of course the alternative over the past few years has been an overnight camping trip. The trip planned to Washington, D.C., would have not only an educational benefit, digging in to our country's history but a trip of reverence where the class would ask for permission to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Much more beneficial than a camping trip.
The reason that the fundraising has been such an important factor was that my daughter, Jordan, did not want anyone to not be able to go due to a lack of means to pay for this trip. It was important to her that anyone that wanted to go would be able to go.
This past Thursday afternoon my wife received a call from Associate Principal Linda Wilman, who informed my wife that the trip was not going to happen. Wilman informed her that another poll was taken by the teachers and just over 50 percent of the students wanted to go camping instead of going to Washington, D.C. This after wo years of raising money from groups, donations from candidates for governor, the Combat Veteran's Motorcycle Association, Walmart, Hannaford's, American Legion, and numerous private donations, funds raised through spaghetti dinners, concession stand sales at athletic events, baked goods sales on the ice for Winter Carnival, Lisa' Dragon Fly Gardens, Rusty Moose Restaurant, Dockside Restaurant and Pub, and Gunstock Mountain Resort.
Everyone thinks this a good idea, except the teachers who decided to take another vote. This is not all teachers as some have donated money and have been on board from the beginning. The total of $4,500 raised so far admittedly is a long way off with only a year left to raise funds, but a significant amount. Jordan and her classmates are very thankful for all the support.
We are not mandating that the teachers have to go on the trip, other teachers could chaperone and the teachers that didn't want to go could be used to cover these teacher's classrooms so substitutes would not have to be used or paid.
Now what else should these students be polled on? Last week they had a field trip to Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro. Were they polled to see of they would rather go tubing at Gunstock instead of walking through a hospital during cold and flu season? No. Are they polled to see if the would rather have ice cream for lunch instead of broccoli? No. Are they polled to see if they would rather go to Six Flags instead of the Remmick Farm Museum? No.
Unfortunately the support of the teachers and influence they have on the children has won and they got their way.
It was suggested by Associate Principal Wilman that the money for the D.C. trip, that was raised for the DC trip could be donated to the camping trip. This will not happen. All money that we have tracked from individual or group donations will be returned and as for any remaining money, Jordan's wish is that she will suggest to the students that have been working on these events that it should be donated to a veterans organization, such as the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Please contact the Superintendent of School, Bill Lander at 875-7890 , Associate Principal Linda Wilman 875-7500.
Finally a worthwhile field trip, and it was shot down; what a waste of time.
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