I had posted on Inauguration Day that I left the TV on the inauguration coverage most of the afternoon so that the kids would at least be exposed to the goings-on of their world, even if they aren't old enough to really grasp it. I was excited to hear about a group of 24 Chicago inner-city fifth and six graders who traveled to DC to witness the inauguration, and were sponsored by the McCormick Foundation. The DC24 Kids were in the crowd of over one million people that flooded the Washington Mall on January 20th at Obama took his Oath of Office.
This isn't just a randomly selected group of kids, they were chosen based on a written essay, grades, test scores, an oral interview, but most importantly, citizenship. They then participated in a weekly civics course where they learned more about the Constitution, our election process and African-American history.
During their four-day journey to Washington, D.C., the students visited landmarks such as the Capitol Building and the Smithsonian and got to attend the inaugural ball. When they return to Chicago, the DC 24 will publish a newspaper describing their experience and deliver a presentation about their trip to parents, faculty and peers.
A major goal of the McCormick Foundation as well as the DC 24’s principal and their teachers, is to inspire and enable a lifetime of giving back to community and country.
What an amzing experience! The kids attend Frazier Preparatory Academy in downtown Chicago and this trip to Washington D.C. was the first time many of them had traveled outside their neighborhood. These kids were so excited to be there, and to be able to experience everything from attending a dance in the hotel to talking with a Naval Glee Club member in the crowds outside the White House.
Watching the clips they created and reading the sentiments they shared just further exemplified the kind of excitement that has been a long time coming in the arena of politics. People who hadn't been involved before, or were involved only out of a sense of obligation (myself included) got swept up in the excitement, hope and emotion that resulted from Obama's win and entrance into office.
Be sure you look at the site that's being kept with the DC 24 kids thoughts, videos and adventures