NORAH BENEDICT, EIGHTH GRADER "It's kinda cool, I appreciate that we are able to be here right now." In a latest sign that life is returning to normal - students from around the U.S. are once again flocking to the nation's capitol... It's a trip that’s become a rite of passage for many students, but came to a screeching halt during to the health crisis.
A welcomed change for eighth graders like Evan Savoie - from Clarkston Junior High School in Clarkston, Michigan.
"All of a sudden instead of 'you guys can't even be doing your sports together, we don't recommend going to each other's houses' all of a sudden they're like 'alright get on the bus everybody, we're heading to Washington DC' which is great" Clarkston Junior High School had pushed back their Washington trip for a year, waiting until the COVID-19 case numbers were low and enough tourist sites were open to make their 10-hour bus trip worthwhile.
But it comes with new safety protocols that didn’t exist pre-pandemic says Clarkston history teacher Mike Greve: "Going out is a temperature chart every day, and checking their temperatures at the end of the day.
We all took COVID PCR tests before we came here to make sure that we were COVID free.
Even if you're vaccinated it was a lot of different hoops to jump through that we're not used to." Not all tourist sites are fully open yet...limiting school groups to mostly outdoor stops, including a walking tour of Arlington National Cemetery, photos outside the White House and a Nationals baseball game… The Washington Monument – for example - was closed to visitors.
Still, students are happy to get back to some sense of normalcy.
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