Social Studies teacher Ashley Koester and a dozen of her students with four adult chaperones will leave Devils Lake on Monday, January 16 heading to Washington D.C. and the Inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Social Studies teacher Ashley Koester and a dozen of her students with four adult chaperones will leave Devils Lake on Monday, January 16 heading to Washington D.C. and the Inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Madison Svedberg, Anika Cavanaugh, Lyla Horn, Lillian Mills, Emily Deplazes, Madison Lehmann, Makenna Baeth, Preston Halvorson, Caleb Schneider, Maxwell Elfman, Carles Craddock and Derek Kitchens will see the sights of the D.C. area and attend the historic event on Friday, Jan. 20 thanks to Close Up, Washington D.C.

The Devils Lake CMS students, one eighth grader and 11 seventh graders, have been preparing for this trip for over a year. Each student did fundraising to get the $2,000 each needs to cover hotels, tickets to the events in Washington, the round-trip flight and food.
Koester explained that they let it be known that this trip was coming up and whoever was interested could apply.

She’s been on a Close Up trip before since coming to teach at CMS, but as a chaperone. This time she’s in charge.

She says that Close Up is an excellent way to experience the nation’s capitol. They have more than 40 years’ experience bringing students to DC for events like the 2017 Inauguration.

On Monday the students fly to Washington, leaving extremely early in the morning.
They arrive in Washington and meet up with their Close Up concierge to explore DC. There will be a group orientation and social activity where the students will be able to meet their peers from around the country.
An introductory workshop will answer and debate the question “Why does the government matter?”

Tuesday the students will visit a number of the major memorials like the FDR and Jefferson Memorials, Korean War, Vietnam War and Lincoln Memorials, explore the U.S. Capitol visitor center and museum, the Supreme Court and Library of Congress.
At each stop there will be discussion groups and topics to address.
They will also participate in a mock Congress, taking on the roles of committee chairs, lobbyists, and members as they discuss bills up for debate during the President’s first 100 days in office.

On Wednesday there are more visits to the WWII Memorial, MLK Memorial Smithsonian American History Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima) and participate in a workshop titled “Characteristics of a good Law.”

Thursday they will visit the National Archives, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Newseum and the D.C. signature night monument tour.

Friday they will attend the Inauguration Day events including the swearing in of the 45th President and Vice President, the Inaugural Address, the Inaugural Parade and the day will end with an exclusive theater performance “An American Musical Landscape.”

Saturday is an open day for the students and the Devils Lake delegation will spend the day exploring DC. They have selected Ford’s Theater as their featured tour.
The day will end with a citizenship send-off workshop where the students will reflect on what they have learned and identify ways they can be more active and involved in their home communities.
An ice cream social concludes their time in D.C.

Sunday they head home to North Dakota.

About Close Up
For over 40 years, Close Up has welcomed students from across the country on one-of-a kind interactive civic education programs in Washington, DC.
The hugely popular Inauguration Program combines the fun-filled, innovative components of the middle school programs with the energy, excitement, and pageantry of the Presidential Inauguration.

Attending the Presidential Inauguration with Close Up gives teachers and students the chance to:
Take part in pre-Inauguration events on the National Mall;
Witness the Presidential Oath of Office and Inaugural Address;
and Experience the Inaugural Parade on Pennsylvania Ave.

Close Up’s Inauguration Program is not just an “in and out” tour of the nation’s capital. Students will take part in exciting seminars, visit some of DC’s embassies, explore the famous monuments and memorials at day and night, take in the Smithsonian Museums, and walk the halls of Capitol Hill – all against the backdrop of the inauguration.
Experiencing the Inauguration with Close Up ensures a safe, educational, fun-filled, and memorable experience in DC.

Close Up staff arranges transportation to and from DC and accommodations in Metro-accessible hotels (not dorms far from the city).
Additionally, their highly-trained Program Instructors and Teacher Program Specialists help maximize the experience in Washington.
Over 825,000 students and teachers have visited the nation’s capital with Close Up since 1971.