Here at Buxton School, we go on an all-school trip every year to a different city in the US to learn about various topics that are relevant to that city. And every four years, we go to an international destination. Also known as the Annual Urban Intensive, students and faculty split into groups to study issues such as homelessness, crime and punishment, media, education, and many more.
The week before we leave, students and faculty have trip group meetings to set up interviews and meetings with various groups and organizations in DC. Students call and schedule with these people and they also plan most of the trip. The faculty help in whatever way we can to facilitate that process but overall, the trip is student-driven. They decide on what and when to eat, what to do on cultural night out, and they help book buses and hotel rooms.
This year, we went to Washington DC. Because it is an election year and we were in the capital, some of the groups focused on topics like women’s rights, democracy, climate change, gun control, Israel/Palestine, ISIS/Iraq/Syria, and immigration and refugees issues.
My group was on immigration and refugees issues and we had the opportunity to meet with many great organizations that are doing research, advocacy work, and just general awareness-raising on the problems with our current immigration system.
While we are in the city, we also bring an all-school play along to perform at various venues as a way to give back to the city. Every student is involved in the play in some way, whether they are acting, doing lights, make-up, drumming, dancing, or singing. This year, our school performed The Persian, which is one of the oldest surviving plays in western literature.
This week, the trip groups will be meeting again to prepare a presentation in order to share with the school what we all learned. Every student also contributes to the trip book, which is a reflection of the different experiences that students had in the city, in this case, DC.
This was definitely one of my favorite trips!