2010-03-25 / Living

Grand Blanc City School students are ... Chicago bound

BY PHIL STAYHUE

Teacher Vickie Weiss and her Grand Blanc City School students toured many of Chicago’s most memorable attractions in 2009. The 2010 trip is coming in early June for another class. Photo by Andrea Roat. Teacher Vickie Weiss and her Grand Blanc City School students toured many of Chicago’s most memorable attractions in 2009. The 2010 trip is coming in early June for another class. Photo by Andrea Roat. GRAND BLANC — A decades-long rite of passage at Grand Blanc City School continues June 1-3, when 34 fourth-and fifth-grade students embark on an annual class trip to Chicago. Led by their teacher, Vickie Weiss, the elementary school children (ages 9 through 11) will enjoy a whirlwind tour of the Windy City while learning lessons on life, travel, economics, art and culture.

The three-day visit features some of Chicago’s most popular attractions, including the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Chinatown, Little Italy and Navy Pier. Using a hands-on teaching approach amidst these landmarks, Weiss instructs in the arts of museum and restaurant etiquette, while also educating students to look critically at various exhibits.

Practical lessons in economics will be a part of the learning plan, too. Students gain a better grasp balancing their expense accounts, budgeting for food and entertainment.

“I have been taking my school classes to Chicago since 1989. What a delightful city for learning adventures,” said Weiss, a fourth/fifth grade teacher for many years. “With fascinating museums, local attractions, and wonderful restaurants, the Chicago trip gives students the opportunity to visit an exciting large urban city and gain a variety of experiences they will never forget!”

Weiss will be supported by a contingent of parent chaperones to ensure the safety of all travelers. An estimated 14 parents are making the trip via bus to Chicago.

Field trips are rarely free, and students embarking on this expedition are gaining real-life lessons in fundraising, too. The children are responsible for raising money needed for the trip, and they’re receiving some generous assistance from an area business — Barnes and Noble, located at 4370 Miller Road in Flint. The bookstore will host a student fundraising event March 27 from 9:30 a.m.- 7:30 p.m.

Gloria Whelan and Barry Marsh, a pair of Michigan authors, are appearing at the bookstore for a book signing that day. Grand Blanc City School students will be there, dressed in costume and performing scenes from Whelan’s books. Book readings and crafts will provide added entertainment for children.

Barnes and Noble will make a donation to Grand Blanc City School from every purchase made March 27 in-store and on-line with reference number 10171288. The students hope to raise $1,000 to help fund the Chicago trip.

Any support from the community would be greatly appreciated, according to event organizers.

“The Chicago trip will be an amazing experience for the kids this year. The invaluable lessons that they will come back with are priceless,” said Stacey Vorwerk, a Grand Blanc City School parent. “We are grateful to Barnes and Noble for allowing our students the chance to have a fun interactive venue in which to raise money for Chicago. My son has been looking forward to this trip since first grade.”

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