C-P 8th-graders raising money for ’08 trip to nation’s capitol

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

June 28, 2007 - Como-Pickton eighth-graders are being afforded the opportunity to experience history up close, thanks to the efforts of teachers Robert Snyder and Jessica Pegues, with assistance from Jackie Russell, the students’ hard work, and the generosity of local merchants.

Staff photo by Angela PItts

These eighth-grade students  from Como-Pickton  were able to raise enough money  to go to Washington, D.C., this year. A softball tournament, fireworks stand and cookbook project are all under way to help generate funds for the coming year's crop of eighth-graders to make the trip. Donations may be made by contacting Jessica Pegues at 903-488-9039 or 903-488-3671.

Earlier this year, 12 of the 49 eighth-graders enrolled at Como-Pickton took their classroom on the road, with a four-day, three-night educational trip to Washington, D.C., where they were always on the move seeing and experiencing U.S. history at locales such as Capitol Hill.

"It was great to see the excitement on the student's faces," said Snyder. 

Not only was the trip educational, but the preparation for the trip was good for students as well. They were required to earn the $1,500 cost or find sponsors to help them pay for it. And, they had only 5 months beginning in October to raise the money, with the final payment due by mid-February. Numerous fundraisers were held, and "countless phone calls made" to generate enough money for all 12 students to make the trip. A number of local businesses, including Echo Publishing Co., and banks donated funds and supplies for the fundraisers. Snyder, Pegues and Russell worked alongside the students, as well as behind the scenes to make the trip possible.

"The truth is, without Mrs. Pegues' hard work and organization of this trip, it wouldn't have happened. Mrs. Pegues worked diligently with World Strides, the educational travel agency based out of Washington, D.C. She also organized numerous fundraisers and made countless phone calls to make this happen," Snyder noted.

However, only enough was raised for 12 students to make the trek to D.C. The eighth grade sponsors hope to be able to take three times as many students for the living history lesson and vacation next year. They plan to take the students on a three-day, two-night stay in Washington, D.C., as well as two days and a night in New York City. 

The cost of the trip will be $1,400 each. In order to ensure as many students are able to attend as possible, the eighth grade sponsors are already hard at work planning the upcoming trip.

"We are getting an early start at fundraising, beginning with several fundraisers this summer," Snyder said.

Three fundraisers are already in the works to generate funds to benefit the students.

Currently, recipes are being accepted for a cookbook. All types of recipes are needed. They books are expected to be ready just in time for Christmas. Books are expected to cost $10-15, depending on the size of the book and number of orders. Copies of the cookbook can be reserved by calling Pegues. Collections or recipes are "so far so good" and should generate "a good-sized" cookbook, Pegues said.

Also, Lori Johnson is allowing fireworks donated by Charley Leigh-Manuell to be sold at her stand, located by Joe Bob's convenience store in Como, to help the eighth graders with their trip. The stand will be open until 10 p.m. tonight,  and beginning Friday the stand will be open all day each day through July 4, according to Pegues.

Later in the summer, an adult co-ed softball tournament will be held at the Como city softball field just past the railroad tracks on FM 69 in Como.  The tourney is slated to begin at 6 p.m. Friday, July 13, and resume at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 14. The entry fee  is $150 per team, with participation limited to 8 teams. So far, three teams have signed up, but more teams are needed for a true competition.

A concession stand will be open both days of the tournament, with burgers to be cooked on Saturday to help generate additional funds and offer a lunch item for players and fans.

To sign up for the tournament, or to find out more about the trip, making donations or fundraisers, call Jessica Pegues at 903-488-9039, and leave a message, or contact her at school at 903-488-3671.

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