HAMPSTEAD – Hampstead Middle School eighth graders will have the chance to travel to New York City and Philadelphia, thanks to the efforts of eighth grade teacher Katie Wolff.
Wolff presented her proposed trip plans to the School Board at its Tuesday, March 25 meeting. The trip would take place Saturday, May 31, and Sunday, June 1, leaving Hampstead Middle School at 5 a.m. on a Silver Foxx Motor Coach in the morning. The first day will take the students, staff and parents to Philadelphia, where they will visit the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklin’s home and the Liberty Bell, accompanied by a native Philadelphia guide who will relate the history of the city.
After visiting the Philadelphia sites, the students will travel to New Jersey to have supper and spend the night. They leave the next day at 9 a.m. for New York City, where they will visit the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the 9/11 Memorial and the recently opened 9/11 Museum. Following a visit to Times Square and Broadway, they will board the bus to return to Hampstead, arriving home at approximately 10 p.m. Sunday, June 1.
Wolff said she needs 40 paying participants to make the trip work. She said there would be a 1:8 HMS staff chaperone to student ratio, and noted that some financial support would be offered for those unable to pay the $250 cost. An effort will be made to make sure that all eighth graders who want to attend can do so. There will also be some availability for parents who would like to join the tour as guests.
The board unanimously approved the proposed trip.
In other business:
• Jessica Marrone and John Edmondson, both teachers at HMS and teacher consultant members of the National Writing Project, described the Summer Writing Camp project to the board.
Students will write in journals, write poetry, work with professional authors and illustrators, write on computers, conference with peers and teachers, revise and publish their writing, they said.
The camp would run the weeks of July 7 and July 11, Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in a Hampstead Middle School classroom. Marrone will select the participants from those who submit applications. The camp is open to Hampstead students in grades 4 through 8 and to others from School Administrative Unit (SAU) 55 and Derry, but Hampstead students will have first choice. Participation must consist of at least 50 percent Hampstead residents to waive facility use fees.
Cost of the camp is $150 per student, with a $10 discount for siblings. The teacher consultants’ pay is contingent upon the number of students registered, after a 10 percent fee for the camp’s coordinator, Kari Allen. Any additional money made goes toward paying for supplies.
Marrone said this is the only camp in the southern New Hampshire area. Last year one Hampstead student attended the camp at Plymouth State, which was the closest one to the town, and that led Marrone and Edmondson to propose running a camp in Hampstead.
The board unanimously approved the request.