NAPLES, Fla. – It was a trip of a lifetime for nearly 50 third graders as they hit the beach for the very first time in their lives. It was all possible thanks to volunteers from a local organization.
“They’re excited,” said Tamie Stewart, principal at Parkside Elementary School. “Some of them are nervous because they don’t know what to expect being near the ocean.”
Those nerves didn’t last long, volunteers with the Leadership Collier Class of 2016 started the students off with an obstacle coarse. Then they passed out plastic bags to the kids so they could find sea shells.
“An adult helped me find some big sea shells,” said student Lucero Dimas. “Over here is nice and fresh and the water’s cold.”
“What struck me the most was, what a limited view of the world they have. And with such a limited view, how can they even think of what they want to be when they grow up or where they want to go to college? So the idea came from that, if we can just open up their view of the world just a little bit bigger, then they can dream big,” said volunteer Teri Evans.
“It’s very important for our children not only to have the academic experience in the classroom, but other experiences because 90 percent of them go home to non-English speaking families. So experiences like this help increase their background knowledge, their vocabulary. They’ll learn just so much from being here today it will be great,” said Stewart.
The Leadership Collier Class of 2016 raised thousands of dollars to make the field trip happen.
Each student also got flip flops, a bag with a towel, books, and a photo album they’ll get in a few weeks of pictures from the day.