Every year Newton South sponsors a six-day “Close Up” trip to Washington DC, where students stay with high school students from across the country, exploring the nation’s capital and seeing how our government operates. This year promises to be particularly exciting, with a new administration and a brand new Smithsonian African American History museum to visit. The Close Up week starts with a visit to museums, and continues with visits to numerous memorials, as well as other historic sites in Washington D.C., ending with a tour of Arlington National Cemetery. Last year our students got the chance to meet and talk with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, as well as Congressman Joseph Kennedy. Senator Markey spent more than half an hour with the students talking about the opioid crisis. As well as getting to know students from areas of the country that may be unfamiliar, each year our students participate in a mock Congress, debate current issues, and learn how to be informed, active, involved US citizens. The highlight of the week is Capitol Hill Day, when we meet with our representatives, tour the Capitol building, observe the Senate and/or House in session, attend Congressional hearings and often visit the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court and Botanical Gardens. The long day concludes with a night at the Kennedy Center to see the show Shear Madness. Overall, the trip provides a memorable experience that South students treasure.
While we mostly take sophomores and seniors, the Close Up Program is open to all upperclassmen at Newton South, with enrollment starting right now. The enrollment deadline is Friday, November 4. This year’s trip will run from March 5-10, and the approximately $1700 cost includes the flight to DC, 5 nights hotel accommodation, charter bus and Metro transportation, all programs, all meals, and admission to the various museums and Shear Madness. There is also some aid available for those in financial need, as well as college credits. We hope you will find that the Close Up Program is a wonderful opportunity for your children to see Washington DC at a very exciting time and to share a unique social and political experience. If you would like to have your child participate in the program (or if you have questions about the program), please contact faculty members Robert Parlin or Lisa Soo Hoo. You can also go to the Close Up foundation’s web page: www.closeup.org. for additional information about the experience.