KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Fifth graders from Knox County schools are getting the chance to tour our nation’s capitol this weekend. There are hundreds of students will be in Washington D.C. for their annual safety patrol trip. The purpose is to reward students for their leadership in school.
Their adventure began bright and early at Chilhowee Park in Knoxville on Friday morning, where 24 buses were loaded up with students and their chaperones.
This is Andrue Lastimoza’s first time to Washington D.C., where he will be spending three days with his classmates, exploring the sights and monuments.
“I get to go to the memorial and go to the Capitol,” said Andrue Lastimoza, a fifth grade student from Karns Elementary. “And appreciate all the things that happened in history.”
Each student on the trip completed their time as safety patrols in school. They volunteered to help improve the safety of their fellow students in traffic, through direct assistance, educational activities, and by setting good examples.
Students were chosen by their teachers for their outstanding merit in school, as well as fulfilling their duties of coming to school early and staying late to help fellow students be safe.
Cecilia Moore, from Powell Elementary said, “I basically in the afternoon would open and shut car doors, make sure the kids weren’t running in the halls.”
These fifth graders say they’ve had fun being safety patrollers, but they’re also getting rewarded for their hard work throughout the year.
“Keeping your grades up, but also having good character. Just how kind and helpful you are to the other kids, that’s more important than anything,” said Kim Carter, a mother.
Kim Carter isn’t just chaperoning for her daughter Campbell. She’s also joining her fifth grade class from Halls Elementary because she was their teacher this year. She has noticed how her students have become more responsible and thoughtful through their volunteer work.
Carter adds, “We see them stopping and helping others, even when it’s not job. They will stop and make sure everyone is safe and knows the rules.”
Carter hopes her students next year will be able to get a hands-on experience like this.
Originally AAA had to limit the amount of students allowed on the trip because of size, not funding issues. Only eight students from each school would be permitted to travel, but Go Student Tours took over the trip for Knox County Schools this year. All eligible safety patrols were able to attend. More than 900 students will return to Knoxville on Monday evening.