Nashoba Brooks Eighth Grade Attends Presidential Inauguration
Eighth Graders and faculty from Nashoba Brooks School in Concord, MA traveled to Washington, D.C. on January 20 to attend the Presidential Inauguration. They awoke at five o’clock on Monday morning, Martin Luther King Day, and stood outside for seven hours straight to watch the event unfold from start to finish. “That was the most amazing moment of my life!” remarked student Abby Lawrence to teacher Patti Murphy as they filed away from the United States Capitol building amidst a crowd of nearly one million.
The Nashoba Brooks eighth graders enjoyed the Inaugural poem “One Today” written and read by Richard Blanco, the youngest and the first Latino and openly gay Inaugural poet. According to Murphy, “It was especially powerful when President Obama referred to the very issues students had spent weeks researching for their C-Span documentaries”—short videos that ranged in subject from energy resources to healthcare to gay rights, which the students entered into the national “Message to the President” C-Span documentary competition. The competition asked students to think seriously about issues affecting their communities and the nation by answering the question, “What’s the most important issue the president should consider in 2013?” After the Inauguration, Nashoba Brooks’ students joined other middle school students from around the country at the 8th Grade Inaugural Ball sponsored by Education First and the Smithsonian.
While in the nation’s capitol, Nashoba Brooks’ students and teachers spent three more very full days exploring museums and monuments. They first toured the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, where highlights included all of the former First Ladies’ inaugural dresses and the original American Flag. Next, they visited the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, where they viewed and discussed etched quotes from Dr. King on the eve of the holiday to honor him. Other highlights from the trip included Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, the International Spy Museum, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery, where students spent time at the Kennedy Memorial and marveled at the precision with which the changing of the guard is executed. On their final day in D.C., students toured the Library of Congress and visited Capitol Hill before heading to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, where they received a private tour and talk from Director Kirk Johnson. According to teacher Lauren Funk, “It was an amazing opportunity to go behind the scenes…Kirk was so knowledgeable and gracious with the girls."
The four-day Nashoba Brooks visit to Washington, D.C. was an extension of the school’s 8th grade social studies course "Implementing Change in an Imperfect Democracy,” which explores the election of America’s founders, civil rights, and contemporary social movements. Not only did the experience in the capitol “dovetail perfectly” with the curriculum, but also it was truly “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a chance to make history come alive,” exclaimed Funk. “Being there at such a monumental event allowed the girls to actually be a part of history.”
About Nashoba Brooks School
Nashoba Brooks is a co-ed Preschool and Lower School and an all-girls Middle School located in Concord, MA. We foster community, develop character, and build student confidence around a core of personal excellence. Nashoba Brooks School educates children for a life of continuous learning, accomplishment, and leadership in a diverse and changing world. The school nurtures students’ talents and character, while fostering the development of each child’s personal excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts.
To learn more about Nashoba Brooks School, please visit the website at: www.nashobabrooks.org