A GSHE mom, Charleen Osborne, organized an opportunity for NH homeschoolers to participate in the Close-Up Washington DC trip in spring 2022. We are very appreciative of her efforts to make it possible for these students. Thank you!
The following is written by Charleen about the trip.
After participating in both the Middle School and High School Programs over the last week of April, I feel that I have a much better understanding about the Close-Up Foundation and their goals. Close-Up Foundation has been engaging students in Washington, DC since 1971. The programs are designed to be issue-centric and nonpartisan, they lived up to this difficult task and highlighted both sides of the spectrum. Students from all over the country in public, private, and homeschool get a chance to be grouped together so they can learn more about how our government functions, as well as problems and challenges that are being faced across our nation.
Our Middle School group had participants from California, Louisiana, and Missouri. High School got to meet up with an even larger pool from: Alaska, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Florida, and Wisconsin. Both programs hit the ground running on Sunday night with orientation and the first workshop session, then they are on the go and busy from breakfast until between 7 and 10 pm (depending on program level).
Not only did all the students explore monuments and museums, but each day also included workshops that held different discussion topics. Current affairs, citizen action, communities, cultures, civic duty, and problem solving. The High School Program dives deep into our political system with discussion panels and a Mock Congress session with debate, followed by a Capitol Hill Day with a chance to meet members of their own state’s Congress or their staff. The program focuses on the student and truly delivers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The teacher program that runs along at the same time was incredible, there are many choices depending on what interests you have and are a great way to decide the best direction to go with your teaching methods on returning from the program. History, Government, Civics, Art with Engineering, the list is long and there is much to learn.
I would absolutely recommend this program; I hope that homeschoolers in New Hampshire will want to explore this program and arrange a group to go each year. Both of my kids loved their time in Washington and my middle schooler wants to return in about 4 years as a high school student.
By Charleen Osborne – homeschool mom and program coordinator 2022