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New Rochelle High U.S. History, Government Students Visit Philadelphia

New Rochelle High students during recent visit to Philadelphia.
New Rochelle High students during recent visit to Philadelphia. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Seventy-six juniors from New Rochelle High School studying U.S. history and government recently visited Philadelphia to get a firsthand look at how the government functions.

The trip included several educational highlights, according to social studies teacher Virginia Gunther, who accompanied the students.

They visited the National Constitution Center, which offers a variety of student-centered interactive activities, such as Roles of the President trivia, Supreme Court cases and legislative laws, among many others.

The students were recently assigned to read President Barack Obama's farewell speech, according to a release from the City School District of New Rochelle. The next day, several students commented that Obama used the phrase, "We the people," from the Constitution, and spoke of the Founding Fathers. Both references stemmed from their Philadelphia visit., the release said.

"Whenever students experience or view firsthand information, it becomes a part of their knowledge set," said Gunther. "The student excitement of visiting historic Philadelphia, engaging in the principles of our government, discussing and sharing ideas with peers created an energy in and out of the classroom that resonates today."

During the trip, students posed for pictures in Signers' Hall, where they learned about the crafting, creation and enduring relevance of the Bill of Rights. They viewed the country's historical timeline in Freedom Rising, which offers a combination of oral history and video performance of the history of the U.S.

Students also modeled and took roles as future presidents and voters, and participated in Constitution Jeopardy. Additionally, students toured Independence Hall and held discussions about the Constitutional Convention.

The tour ended with a visit to the U.S. Philadelphia Mint, where pennies were being minted that day.

The trip was underwritten by the National Constitution Center's Youth Scholarship grant.

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