Sunday, March 23, 2003

D.C. trip canceled again for Evendale

6th-graders' plans dashed by war

By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

EVENDALE - Sixth-graders at Evendale Elementary can't catch a break.

For years, the 35 students have looked forward to their class trip to Washington, D.C. But for the second time this year, the trip has been canceled, this time because of the war with Iraq.

Students were scheduled to visit the nation's capital last fall, but the trip was postponed because of the D.C.-area sniper shootings. The trip was rescheduled for April 14-17, before it too was canceled.

Last week, the Princeton City School District canceled several spring field trips, including Evendale's, because of safety concerns, said Chris Gramke, district spokeswoman.

Now, Evendale sixth-graders hope to spend a night and two days in downtown Cincinnati that week and sleep over at their school.

That will make up for their fourth-grade sleepover they missed two years ago due to a power outage at the school.

"Last year, the sixth-graders were unable to go because of Sept. 11," said Linda Lemen, a sixth-grade teacher at Evendale. "Now, these sixth-graders will not get to go. It's been a sad situation around here.

"The day we told them, I think many of them were close to tears. They were literally looking forward to this since first grade. For many of these kids, this might be their only opportunity to go."

Lemen and Kelly Frazee, the other sixth-grade teacher, will take the students downtown to spend a night at the Hyatt Regency and plan to line up tours in the city.

Students will then return to school, where they'll write to local troops and make a replica of the Capitol building.

"Normally when we go to Washington, D.C., we have a picture of the kids taken outside the Capitol, so we'll take a picture of them by the replica so they can put it up on the wall with all the other classes that have gone," Lemen said.

"Even with all of the disappointments they have had, they've shined a bright light on it," Lemen said.

"They say, `You know, this could be better than D.C.'"


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