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Professional Development Trip for Middle School Social Studies Team

photo of African American history museum

As part of its record-setting 40th anniversary year, the Foundation supported a request from the social studies department at EGR Middle School for a professional development trip to Washington, DC and New York City in July of 2024. 

As a department, the teachers identified their collective knowledge of African-American history as an area of potential growth and improvement. As a result a main focus of the trip while in Washington D.C. is a visit to The National Museum of African American History and Culture. In New York City, the group will visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and One World Trade Center. Each year on 9/11 the teachers lead discussions with their students on this topic. 

Teacher Kristine DiVita shared, "I am most excited for the African American and American Indian Museums.  While I have chaperoned the 8th grade trip to D.C. before, it is quite a different experience while not supervising groups of students at the same time. :) I am thrilled at having time to collaborate with my peers and will be looking for ways to incorporate what I am learning to share with my 8th grade US History class."

Casey Smith, social studies teacher shared, "I am grateful and excited to be visiting these places with the express purpose of taking away meaningful experiences and knowledge for my classroom. I have been to D.C. and NYC, but it has never been to visit these locations in this context. Additionally, I am really looking forward to spending time with the department. The day-to-day demands and reality of the classroom mean that you can often, unintentionally, wind up on an island. I am really looking forward to getting to know my department members more and connecting in a non-academic setting."

A third teacher attending, Pete Miller also shared, "There are many reasons why I am excited about this trip. One is I have never been to New York City before and with my summer schedule and my kids' schedules, I would likely be unable to travel there any time soon. Also, by the end of this trip, I will have spent more time with my team members talking and working on the curriculum in 4 days than I have in the past 10 years. I am also looking forward to seeing how this impacts and improves my students' experience in my classes."