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Annual Reagan trip enlightens, educates students

For ten years, FC eighth grade U.S. history teacher Hallie Rojeski has taken the students in her class on a field trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA, to learn more about the president as a supplement to their study of the Constitution. This year they will return to continue the tradition, Nov. 15.

The Reagan museum covers his early childhood, his first job, his movie and military career, his time as Governor of California and his presidency, giving an overview of Reagan’s entire life. The site features many videos, interactive activities, numerous displays, the retired model of Air Force One, Reagan’s presidential aircraft, a large portion of the Berlin Wall and Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan’s graves.

The students will leave school at 7:30 a.m. and make a lunch stop at the Centre Court shopping center in Simi Valley. From there they will travel to the Reagan Library and tour the site from 1 p.m. until leaving at 3:30 p.m. On the way back from Simi Valley, the group will eat dinner at Traveler’s Advantage (Laval Highway exit) and then return to the FC parking lot by 8:30 p.m.

Although they miss a whole day of school, Rojeski believes that the trip is beneficial and completely necessary so she has made it mandatory for each student to go.

“It gives the students an opportunity to experience the life of a President who served during their parents? lifetime and who they will study in high school,” Rojeski said. “They get to see clips from some of his movies and hear some of his speeches. They can also get information on items related to a presidency such as Air Force One and a replica of the oval office.”

Many students who went last year enjoyed the trip, especially because of Air Force One. Sierra Duffy, ’16, remembers this as her favorite factor of the field trip and found it an interesting and fun element.

“I liked seeing all the pictures and artifacts from Reagan, but I really enjoyed Air Force One,” Duffy said. “It was tight in there and there were jelly beans all over the place because Reagan really liked jelly beans. We couldn’t eat them though.”

The eighth grade class does not specifically study President Reagan, but Rojeski wants to provide an interesting break from their Constitution unit. She believes that elements of the library and museum do contribute to their study of American presidents in general.

“This field trip makes our study of the Constitution less abstract and lets the students experience another time period in American history,” Rojeski said. “While we do not study Reagan’s presidency in eighth grade, his life is so varied and interesting that eighth grade students find much to like.”

Eighth graders going on the trip this year have heard stories of the presidential plane experience, so they know what to look forward to as they go as a class.

Elizabeth Baker, ’17, is excited to see Air Force One and let the tales she has heard come to life as she sees it for herself. She also looks forward to spending time with her classmates as they learn about and from the life of Reagan.

“I’m excited to go on the plane,” Baker said. “It will be fun to learn about my dad’s favorite president, especially with my best friends. I really like gift shops, too, and I hear they have one there.”

Many of the eighth graders are excited about skipping school and hanging out with friends for the bus ride and library tour.

Eighth grader Summer McGrew anticipates having a fun time with her classmates, especially on the bus ride. She does not regret missing school and believes that the trip will be fun even though it is educational.

“It’s fun to skip school, but I do want to learn about it,’ McGrew said. “It’s a good opportunity to learn about the President, too. I can’t wait to talk and hang out with friends on the bus for two hours, and I love gift shops and fast food.”

Trevor Trevino, ’17, looks forward to taking a trip to the Los Angeles area as a change from the other field trips his class has taken around the Fresno area. He believes that the day will not be wasted and looks forward to the educational aspect of the experience as well as the recreational side of the trip.

“L.A.’s a beautiful place and I like trips in other places than Fresno,” Trevino said. “I like missing a day of school and I know it will be worth it. Learning there is almost better than what we do here everyday because it’s something new too.”

Although the cost of the trip is included in students’ tuition, those going need to bring money for food as the group will be stopping at fast food restaurants for lunch and dinner. The library also has a gift shop, so if students are wanting to purchase souvenirs they will need to bring additional cash also.

For more information on the Reagan Library trip, email Rojeski.

For more news, see Nov. 8 article, Fulton Mall to host outdoor ice rink (VIDEO).

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