Clifton private school students headed to inauguration

Back left to right, Colin Jackson, Robert Toney, Christie Harris, Kaite Johnson. Front left to right Cindy Lee, Raena Anderson, BreeAnna Taylor from Christian Community School are going to see the presidential inaugration in Washington DC.Not pictured and going on the trip is Dalton Weinischke and Serena Bobbitt.

Eight high school students from Christian Community Schools in Clifton will watch President Barack Obama’s second inauguration ceremony Monday in Washington, D.C.

The students will leave today for a D.C. trip built around the inauguration and will return Wednesday.

Besides Monday’s large inauguration ceremony outside the U.S. Capitol, which is a day after Obama takes the official oath of office for his second term in a smaller ceremony, the trip involves visits to sights across the District of Columbia.

Students plan to visit Ford’s Theatre, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Mall, the White House, the Supreme Court building, the Capitol and various Smithsonian Institute museums.

Christian Community Schools student Raena Anderson, 16, said she is excited to see memorials in the National Mall and be part of a historical day.

Classmate Robert Toney, 16, is enthusiastic about seeing the nation’s first black president sworn in for a second term.

Fifteen-year-old BrieeAnna Taylor is looking forward to taking the same trip her sisters took four years ago.

“I’ve been planning this since my sisters went in 2009. They came back and said they made great memories,” Taylor said.

Christian Community Schools organized an inauguration trip in 2005 and 2009. School Administrator Cheryl DuCray said the school began sending students to presidential inaugurations after Virginia-based educational travel company WorldStrides approached her about the idea. WorldStrides also organizes biology-centric trips to Florida for the school.

“It is an opportunity for them to learn aside from books,” DuCray said.

Students will have to finish a journal, complete some online work and share their pictures and experiences in a “debriefing” activity after their return to Grand Junction. All students who go on the trip and complete associated work will earn half a credit in high school American government.

The trip costs about $2,000 per student but fundraising helped with the tab. Students delivered flowers with Johnson’s House of Flowers, sold coupon books for Herberger’s Community Days promotion and hosted a bake sale and a yard sale to earn money to help with their trip costs.

Obama’s ceremonial swearing-in for the public on the West Front of the Capitol, will be followed by his inaugural address, the inaugural lunch with congressional leadership and other top government officials, the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, and the evening’s two official inaugural balls.

Myrlie Evers Williams will deliver the Invocation. Beyoncé will sing the National Anthem, Kelly Clarkson will perform “My Country Tis of Thee,” and James Taylor will sing “America the Beautiful.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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