Students Bring More Than T-Shirts Back from Their Spring Break Travels Opportunities for Indianapolis Public Schools students to be lifelong, global learners don’t stop at spring break. Many students, and their teachers, take time during these breaks to visit other countries. It’s an incredible experience for our students, one they plan and work for all year long!

A group of Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School students traveled to Tlaxcala, Mexico, about 2 hours northeast of Mexico City, from March 16 to March 29. Those that take the trip stay in family homes, go to school with Mexican students and get to see what being part of a normal Mexican family and school is all about.

Breaira O., a Crispus Attucks junior, went for her second time this year. “We get to live with the families, learn their customs, their way of living.” Each student and teacher stays in a different home, so they have a chance to compare experiences with different families, different traditions.

Breaira’s stay this year really taught her how different things can be in another country. “No bus picks you up for school,” she said. “We walked a mile and a half to get to and from school each day.”

Kyle Kopke, Crispus Attucks Dean of Students, who went for her fifth time this year, agreed. “We’re making the world a smaller place for our kids,” she said. “Students learn about a different culture and get an appreciation of what we have here.”

The Tlaxcala families will return the favor from May 15 to May 30 when their students come for a visit here. This is the fifteenth year of the exchange.

Eleven students and two teachers from Center for Inquiry Schools 2, 27 and 84 headed to China. They did some cultural sightseeing in Beijing (the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square), Shanghai and along the Great Wall. “My favorite thing was the Great Wall,” said student James S. “It was amazing!”

They, too, had a chance to live with families.In Hangzhou, they saw Chinese home life and got to shadow students in a school that sends exchange students to them regularly.

That aspect of the trip is what drew many of the students in. “I am most excited to meet a new family,” said student Hope E. before leaving for the trip.
Olivia Trevino agreed. “I was excited to stay with the host family and experience their lifestyle.”

CFI 84 Principal Christine Collier said, “It is exciting to be able to provide this opportunity to our students and staff. Traveling internationally, staying with host families, spending time shadowing in a school, along with sightseeing, are all experiences that will create lifetime memories.”

Arsenal Technical High School’s international travel group headed to Athens, Greece, and Florence and Rome, Italy, for their spring break trip. This chance to see such sights as the Acropolis, Delphi, the Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel was a first-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many.

Arsenal Tech Spanish Teacher and Tour Sponsor Rosalilia Romo Stewart said, “Some of our students had never traveled on a plane, let alone, a ferry boat, and we discussed how to ease the air pressure pains by chewing gum. I packed Dramamine for the first time in my emergency kit. This was my fifth trip out of the country with students, and every student’s learning moment brings me joy.”

The students took advantage of the opportunity to do some cultural comparison.

Junior James G. jumped at the chance “to be able to compare Central American Hispanic culture to European culture.”

Senior Vanessa B. was “excited to see the St. Peter’s Basilica and experience the European vibe.”

Senior Jurissol R. said that he learned “more about where Spanish originated, Latin.” Then in Italy he observed the culture and customs “to compare to my Dominican background and the United States.”

The Dominican Republic was the destination for seven Key Learning Community seniors and three teachers. They experienced the culture and worked in a local school while taking in some of the Caribbean sun.

Student Ashley K. wrote in her blog, “Just seeing the children and the adults surrounding me in the DR makes me want to help out more in the world. Seeing the children when I first arrived and how they greeted us with hugs and were just happy to see us made me so happy. I take so much for granted, and [this experience] makes me realize that I should appreciate what I have.”

Jerry T. reflected while traveling as well. “Day 2 of the DR, and this trip has already been eye-opening to me. This place is amazing, from the buildings to the people. As someone who spent his entire life in Indy, the DR won’t be my last trip outside the city.”

Our students learned much about the world and themselves during their travels, but the trips were just the culmination of months of work and preparation. Though donations from sponsors like the Lions of Indiana, Eli Lilly and alumni associations helped, all these students worked to raise funding.

“We make sure to empower our students with many opportunities to earn their travel experience. With this, they will appreciate and enjoy their trip,” said Rosalilia Romo Stewart. Arsenal Tech students worked at Lucas Oil stadium, earning a percentage of sales to help with costs.

Principal Collier said CFI students “sold Mike’s car wash passes as a group and then did individual projects like babysitting. One 8th grade girl loves to bake and raised over $700 taking orders for cakes for various celebrations.”

Justin Musgrove, Key Learning teacher and trip coordinator, said students “help plan and fundraise” for the trip all year. “We do this by creating fun events for the students at our school to participate in, such as a Fall Festival with carnival games, themed dances, hosting a breakfast with Santa and other events. We also create Key Warrior apparel for retail.”

Crispus Attucks students hosted staff/student basketball games, sponsored holiday card exchanges and after-school movie time. They even worked with local restaurants to get percentages of sales donated.

As Stewart noted, though “the teachers are promoting the fundraisers, the students are the ones that work them. There is no free money.”

A couple students even learned about crowdfunding and established GoFundMe sites to help defray costs.

Our students’ spring break travels were the product of months of thought and effort. We’re proud of the hard work they have done to earn these travels. That investment of time, energy and intellect means their travel and learning experiences will last them a lifetime!
 

$(document).ready(function() {
CheckScript(‘Galleria’);
Galleria.loadTheme(staticURL + ‘/GlobalAssets/Scripts/ThirdParty/galleria/themes/classic/galleria.classic.min.js?rnd=16022019092458’);
$(‘#galleria38470’).show();
Galleria.run(‘#galleria38470’, {
height:0.75,
width:600,
_moduleInstanceID:
38470,
_allowAudio: true,
_hasAudio: false,
_audioLoop: false,
_audioSrc: ”,
popupLinks:true,

dummy: staticURL + ‘/GlobalAssets/Scripts/ThirdParty/galleria/themes/classic/gallery_error.png’,
transition:’fade’,
autoplay:3000
});
Galleria.ready(function() {
this.bind(‘image’, function(e) {
e.imageTarget.alt = e.galleriaData.description;
});
this.bind(‘thumbnail’, function(e) {
e.thumbTarget.alt = e.galleriaData.description;
});
});
});
function checkAudioTagSupport() {
var bResult = false;
var myAudio = document.createElement(‘audio’);
if (myAudio.canPlayType) {
var canPlayMp3 = !!myAudio.canPlayType && ” != myAudio.canPlayType(‘audio/mpeg’);
if (canPlayMp3) {
bResult = true;
}
}
return bResult
}

$(document).ready(function() {
CheckScript(‘Galleria’);
Galleria.loadTheme(staticURL + ‘/GlobalAssets/Scripts/ThirdParty/galleria/themes/classic/galleria.classic.min.js?rnd=16022019092458’);
$(‘#galleria38471’).show();
Galleria.run(‘#galleria38471’, {
height:0.75,
width:600,
_moduleInstanceID:
38471,
_allowAudio: true,
_hasAudio: false,
_audioLoop: false,
_audioSrc: ”,
popupLinks:true,

dummy: staticURL + ‘/GlobalAssets/Scripts/ThirdParty/galleria/themes/classic/gallery_error.png’,
transition:’fade’,
autoplay:3000
});
Galleria.ready(function() {
this.bind(‘image’, function(e) {
e.imageTarget.alt = e.galleriaData.description;
});
this.bind(‘thumbnail’, function(e) {
e.thumbTarget.alt = e.galleriaData.description;
});
});
});
function checkAudioTagSupport() {
var bResult = false;
var myAudio = document.createElement(‘audio’);
if (myAudio.canPlayType) {
var canPlayMp3 = !!myAudio.canPlayType && ” != myAudio.canPlayType(‘audio/mpeg’);
if (canPlayMp3) {
bResult = true;
}
}
return bResult
}

$(document).ready(function() {
CheckScript(‘Galleria’);
Galleria.loadTheme(staticURL + ‘/GlobalAssets/Scripts/ThirdParty/galleria/themes/classic/galleria.classic.min.js?rnd=16022019092458’);
$(‘#galleria38482’).show();
Galleria.run(‘#galleria38482’, {
height:0.75,
width:600,
_moduleInstanceID:
38482,
_allowAudio: true,
_hasAudio: false,
_audioLoop: false,
_audioSrc: ”,
popupLinks:true,

dummy: staticURL + ‘/GlobalAssets/Scripts/ThirdParty/galleria/themes/classic/gallery_error.png’,
transition:’fade’,
autoplay:3000
});
Galleria.ready(function() {
this.bind(‘image’, function(e) {
e.imageTarget.alt = e.galleriaData.description;
});
this.bind(‘thumbnail’, function(e) {
e.thumbTarget.alt = e.galleriaData.description;
});
});
});
function checkAudioTagSupport() {
var bResult = false;
var myAudio = document.createElement(‘audio’);
if (myAudio.canPlayType) {
var canPlayMp3 = !!myAudio.canPlayType && ” != myAudio.canPlayType(‘audio/mpeg’);
if (canPlayMp3) {
bResult = true;
}
}
return bResult
}

$(document).ready(function() {
CheckScript(‘Galleria’);
Galleria.loadTheme(staticURL + ‘/GlobalAssets/Scripts/ThirdParty/galleria/themes/classic/galleria.classic.min.js?rnd=16022019092458’);
$(‘#galleria38483’).show();
Galleria.run(‘#galleria38483’, {
height:0.75,
width:600,
_moduleInstanceID:
38483,
_allowAudio: true,
_hasAudio: false,
_audioLoop: false,
_audioSrc: ”,
popupLinks:true,

dummy: staticURL + ‘/GlobalAssets/Scripts/ThirdParty/galleria/themes/classic/gallery_error.png’,
transition:’fade’,
autoplay:3000
});
Galleria.ready(function() {
this.bind(‘image’, function(e) {
e.imageTarget.alt = e.galleriaData.description;
});
this.bind(‘thumbnail’, function(e) {
e.thumbTarget.alt = e.galleriaData.description;
});
});
});
function checkAudioTagSupport() {
var bResult = false;
var myAudio = document.createElement(‘audio’);
if (myAudio.canPlayType) {
var canPlayMp3 = !!myAudio.canPlayType && ” != myAudio.canPlayType(‘audio/mpeg’);
if (canPlayMp3) {
bResult = true;
}
}
return bResult
}