$96,100 for field trips to CA, Boston/NYC funded by students, tax-credit monies


Seventy students in Apache Junction High School’s orchestra, band and choir are traveling to California to perform at the Heritage Music Festival and 20 Cactus Canyon Junior High School students are heading to Boston and New York City to learn about the history and culture of the country.

Fundraising and tax-credit monies will be used for the two field trips --- costing $42,500 for the west coast trip and $53,600 for the east coast trip --- that were recently approved by the Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board.

Heritage Music Festival

Students have been hosting fundraisers to pay for the April 23-26 trip to Burbank, California, for the Heritage Music Festival. Transportation by bus is to cost $7,300; and meals and lodging are to cost $35,200. A total of 70 students, 10 parents and three other adults are to attend, according to an AJUSD request-to-travel form.

“This is very important for the students to learn from playing in front of judges and receive feedback from professionals. This performance coincides with state music standard ranging from presenting, responding and connecting,” Sandra Leen, AJHS orchestra director, said in a letter to the Governing Board.

“The students will get the opportunity to review the feedback and learn from the experience. Playing in front of judges is different than performing in front of your parents. The exposure will allow the student to grow as a performer... The students have worked very hard to fundraise money to perform at the festival,” Ms. Leen said.

Boston and New York City

Monies from the 814 tax credit fund and student private pay will fund the June 11-15 trip with EF Explore America to Boston and New York City; arrival could be as early as June 9 and departure as late as June 17.

Transportation to an airport is to cost $200 and all other costs for two parents and 20 seventh- and eighth-grade students are $53,400. Two chaperons are to travel for free; one chaperon may attend for free for every 10 paying travelers, according to an AJUSD request-to-travel form.

“This is my eighth year sponsoring a trip with EF Explore America --- the past years were a great success,” Wendy McQuilkin, seventh-grade science educator and trip sponsor, said in a letter to the AJUSD Governing Board.

“It is an excellent opportunity for students to experience life outside of their home state and to learn first-hand about the history and culture of our great nation. I have 20 students, two parents and myself ready to go in June --- the other CCJH teacher chaperone is TBD. I am very excited for this opportunity once again and know that everyone will enjoy a highly educational field trip,” she said.