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Standing with the Washington Monument in the background are, from left, Kim Becker, Morgan Kahilainen, Kristen Perala, Chelsea Hendrickx, and Jarrod Norton

Close Up group experiences D.C., NYC sites

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Last week a group of 19 students, chaperoned by Carrie Jorgenson, traveled from New York Mills to Washington, D.C. and New York as part of the Close Up program.

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The idea of the program is to give the students an in-depth political and historical experience by actually participating in the process and visiting some of our nation's most historical sites.

While in Washington, the Mills students toured numerous memorials and landmarks including: the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Holocaust Museum, and the WW II, Korean, and Vietnam War Memorials. One day was spent on Capital Hill, where the students were able to meet with the staff of Collin Peterson's office to discuss current issues and ask questions about the political process.

The week was also spent participating in debates and mock congress simulations along with students from around the nation. They were able to interact with students from Alaska, Alabama, California, Texas, Arizona, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming.

While in New York, the group was able to visit the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Ground Zero, Central Park, Rockefellar Center, and attend the Broadway show "Mama Mia".

"I would like to thank the parents, the NYM school, and all of the people from the community who supported these students with their fundraising efforts and encouraged them to participate," said social studies teacher and trip chaperone Carrie Jorgenson. "I am so proud of these students! They really embraced the goal of the Close Up program: To educate through participation!"

Jorgenson went on to praise her students: "Not only did they participate, but they stood out among the other groups. I received many wonderful comments from the Close Up staff, as well as teachers from the other schools, concerning how well-versed the students were and how respectful and courteous they were to the students and adults alike. Mr. (Todd) Cameron even received a phone call from the staff of Collin Peterson's office telling him what a great group of students we have from NYM. It was a wonderful experience and I would encourage everyone to participate in future Close Up trips."

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