At the Feb. 6 regular meeting of the Gallup-McKinley County Board Of Education, two high school teachers pitched the idea of taking a small group of students to Europe for cultural exposure and to get some valuable education outside of the confines of McKinley County.
The cost of the trip, which would include visits to Berlin and Vienna, ranges in the $3,000 range, AP history teachers Garrett Stolz and Cody Moody of Miyamura High told school board members. A grand idea, but not necessarily something students around McKinley County can readily afford, board president Priscilla Manuelito quickly reminded the two.
While we at the Gallup Sun aren’t really against such a trip, which the teachers were asking the school board to approve the pre-planning of, we think the teachers should formulate a curriculum plan whereby participating students can receive course credit for the European getaway.
The first thing that academic advisers from your school and from abroad tell prospective overseas students is that these kinds of trips are not vacations. Heck, many of us who’ve traveled and studied in another country have nothing but positive things to say about the experience. And when you arrive back home and your G.P.A. goes up, that’s even better!
Stolz and Moody should re-introduce this as an overseas study trip. On the surface, it seems like a 12-day vacation in which the sole memories brought back might be about food and not things related to something academic, which is what Gallup and McKinley County students need.
We think if exposure is the root motivation for the trip, then why not go to the Bronx in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles or even Hawaii to soak up some culture – and for school credit? Forget Europe, how many students at GMCS have traveled the big cultural centers inside of the United States?
Those places aren’t that expensive and students, no doubt, would receive an “outside the classroom” education on the same par as that Stolz and Moody are suggesting.