The trip was amazing. In addition to our kids getting the recognition they deserved at the White House, they met with Congressman Bill Foster and spoke with him for around 20 minutes, one of Roskam's interns took them up to the gallery to see a live vote in the House and Senator Durbin's staff showed us around their office as well as taking our group behind the scenes through the underground tunnels to get around the capitol.
The kids will never forget this trip, but throughout the experience, they never forgot their friends back home. I got Bill Foster, Bill Nye and Neil Degrasse Tyson to record video messages congratulating the kids back home, and our students took pictures at the White House holding the posters of the full group that our print shop was able to produce for us at the last minute.
Chuck and I were amazed and unbelievably proud of our students for how they conducted themselves on this trip. They truly represented our district and our mission amazingly.
The students from two different schools who had not ever spoken to each other before this trip were acting like close friends by the end and working collaboratively to produce a video for their friends at home (they did it completely self-directed at the airport). They said they have a few more lines and other things to polish up on Monday for their independent video, but they also helped me produce a quick video trailer as if they weren't active enough.
I cannot thank you enough for the support the district has given us through the innovation process and numerous other more subtle ways the arts are supported in District 203. You all have done so much to put the kids in the forefront and give them the tools/support to excel beyond what anyone could expect. I feel truly honored to be a part of this learning community.