Students Visit Sites in History Passport Program

Lynchburg, VA - More than a 1,000 students in our area have signed up for a big class trip. They won't all travel at the same time, but where they're going requires a passport.

Students are all given a passport to visit local historical sites like the D Day Memorial or the Appomattox Courthouse.

Some students at New Covenant School in Lynchburg have already gotten started. The students in Miss Martin's class are ready for takeoff.

Their bags are packed, with a little money for souvenirs, a travel guide, and most important - the proper documentation.

"When I told them about this, you would have thought that they had been given tickets to Disney World. They were very excited," said Kathryn Martin, the teacher.

It didn't take them long to get moving.

I've been to the old city cemetery," said one Emily Brophy.

The Appomattox Courthouse," said Jonah Dunchak.

There are 23 sites in all, and just like a real passport--at each site they travel to they get a stamp.

The class that gets the most first wins.

Some took their family and others invited friends.

"I asked her, 'Hey do you want to go with me to the museum of the confederacy?'"She was like, 'Sure!" said Brynn Katany.

It's a way to get students enthused about the history that surrounds them.

Sue Cochrane with the Appomattox 1865 Foundation saw the program in other areas and decided to bring it here.

"The object is to get the students out to realize that our region is rich in culture and history and its not just all civil war. There's revolutionary, Civil Rights history here," she said.

Some say seeing how people lived back then helps them appreciate what they have now.

"Would you want to be a kid back then?" we asked.

Yes & no the toys might have been fun but there wouldn't be any television," responded Maia Dunchak.

The program is geared toward 4th graders in the Central Virginia region.

Six counties are currently participating -- all the way from Buckingham to Charlotte County.

The class that wins gets a pizza party and a picture in the newspaper.

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