Bring back school funded field trips

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 27, 2016

School has become a different place since I was a child.
At that time, it was quite commonplace to hear a student complain that they got a spanking in the principal’s office for misbehaving. A gun being brought to school was a pretty rare occurrence. Maybe there’s a tie-in there.
Today, a parent would probably file a lawsuit if a teacher or administrator spanked their child. That brings me to another major change in school systems; field trips.
Back two to three decades a child in grade school knew they would take at least two or three field trips a year.
Not only did it mean there would be no schoolwork that day, the entire class got to take an adventure outside.
This week it was announced that the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation provided grant funding to Nicholson Elementary so kindergarteners could take a train ride to the Hattiesburg Zoo.
Over the course of covering school board meetings here in Pearl River County, it’s been mentioned by members of more than one board that field trips have become increasingly rare, especially those funded by the school district, due to a lack of funding.
As a result, a student is lucky to take a handful of field trips during the entirety of their schooling.
Learning in class is effective and relatively inexpensive compared to taking a field trip.
But if you want a child to remember something for a lifetime, they need a unique experience with which to associate their learning experience.
But ask any school official, funds are tight. That forces the administration and finance departments to find the most cost-effective approach to educating our kids.
It’s just sad that one of the cuts made to the budget was removing field trips from the child’s experiences.

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