Annual 8th Grade Trip to Washington, D.C. - May 2024


Mrs. Franks shared with our 8th grade families some important information so families can prepare for our annual 8th grade class trip to Washington, D.C. There will be an informational meeting for all parents to provide a brief overview of the trip and sign-up procedures.


Meeting Dates: Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. via Google Meet. We will offer a second meeting on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. for those families who need to attend the elementary school open house on Tuesday. (Links will be shared closer to the meeting date.). 


Our vendor, WorldStrides, provides a $50 fee reduction for anyone who attend the informational meeting! You can click here to check out our trip website before the meeting.






This message is from all three Middle School Principals and PTA Presidents from across the Greenwich Public Schools District as a collective with the hope that we can join together to keep this beloved GPS tradition alive of the 8th grade D.C. trip, which was canceled for the past 3 years! 



A GPS Tradition

In eighth grade, GPS students anticipate becoming leaders in their schools and community. The eighth-grade year also traditionally culminates in a multi-night trip to Washington, D.C. Across the district, this time-honored tradition offers each graduating class the opportunity to bond before heading off to high school. This year's 8th graders are looking forward to upholding this GPS tradition and experiencing the unique cultural and educational opportunities provided by our Nation's capital–an experience we hope will last in their hearts and minds for years to come.


Sample Highlights of the Trip

The Eastern Middle School trip is scheduled for May 17-19, 2023.  The students received an informational packet during AB. During their 2 nights & 3 days in D.C., our 8th graders will hit the ground running. They will explore the Nation's capital and the surrounding area, where they will experience firsthand what they have been studying throughout elementary and middle school. Here are some highlights of the trip:

To check out all of the fun they will have:  Click here to view the Washington D.C. video.


Fundraising Efforts


Please visit our 8th Grade DC Trip Fundraising Committee's page for information on the various fundraising events.


In prior years, each middle school was separately tasked with organizing and funding this trip, and the cost has been as high as $1200 per student, which was paid directly by GPS families. At every school, there have been students unable to afford the full cost of the trip because of financial hardship. GPS strongly believes that all 8th graders in the district, who want to attend, should have the opportunity. This year, by shortening the trip by one night and by using the bargaining power of having 600 plus 8th graders district-wide, GPS has been able to negotiate a $699 per student cost. Even with the lower cost, there will be families unable to pay for their child to participate in this experience fully. Therefore, to make this trip happen, the three middle schools are challenged to join together to raise funds to provide assistance to families with demonstrated need and who are unable to pay the $699 cost fully.


The students can undertake fundraising endeavors themselves–bake sales, car washes, etc. Fundraising as a class is an amazing opportunity for the children to learn the basics of money management and to learn the value of working together to achieve a goal. While we believe this to be a worthwhile and integral effort, the 8th graders will need support from the wider community to ensure the trip is funded and viable–both for this year and for future years!


We welcome suggestions from the community to help us with large-scale fundraising ideas and events. Do you know a great performer or speaker who would be willing to donate or discount their fee to support this capstone trip for GPS 8th graders? Do you have a contact who might want to partner with GPS to support this tradition? If so, please reach out. We welcome your ideas! Through grants, public-private partnerships, and fundraising efforts, GPS hopes to be able to cover the remaining costs for all interested students to take part in this trip.

The goal is to raise $90,000, or 1/5th of the cost of this trip, to assist 8th graders at all three middle schools who have a financial need!


Help Support the 8th Grade Class!


We are asking for your support in helping this and future 8th classes go to Washington, D.C. We know that with your participation in our fundraising efforts, we will be able to make a huge difference in the lives of our students. We are a 501c(3), so your donation is tax-deductible. Our Tax ID is 06-0994135. These funds will be pooled and distributed by GPS to maintain the financial privacy of families. 


How can I help

  • You can sponsor a child for $699. Online or mail or drop off your donation at the main office
  • You can donate any amount towards the fundraising account. Online or mail or drop off your donation at the main office
  • Can’t attend one of our fundraising events? Consider making a donation to the 8th Grade DC Trip Fund via our partners at the Greenwich Alliance.  Click here and indicate "DC Trip" under "Allocation.”  

EMS PARENTS/STAFF: Please consider sponsoring a student or donating any amount online

or send it to the EMS Office.


GREENWICH COMMUNITY: Please HELP preserve this GPS tradition by donating online

or send it to the EMS Office.


Click here to sponsor a student for the trip or donate any amount.


For Checks, please write Attention: DC Trip Donation in the memo, and checks should be made payable to EMS. Address: 51 Hendrie Ave, Riverside, CT 06878




Parent/Student Information Meeting

Thanks to all of you who could attend the informational meeting on Nov 2. The informational meeting covered all of the program basics, including the trip's itinerary and trip price.

 For those of you unable to attend, you can request a recording of the meeting from Michelle Franks. 


Everyone who attends the meeting on 11/2 and signs up for the trip with a $99 deposit on either 11/2, 11/3, or 11/4 within 48 hours after the meeting will get an extra $50 off the price as an early discount!  


Please note the parent meeting discount is not shown online at the time of registration.  WorldStrides will post the funds to your account within a few weeks.   If you pay in full, you will be refunded the $50.  If you are being prompted to pay in full and you do not intend to do so, please click the radio button on the tab that says pay monthly and then you can just put down the $99 deposit and set up either the automatic payment deductions through EZPay or the Manual Payments.  Please note the system says there will be a $6 handling fee on the Manual Payments, but this has been waived for our group, so you can ignore it and enroll in either monthly plan.  


Additionally, just a reminder that FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4TH, is the last day to sign up for the trip and receive the $50 parent meeting discount as a thank you for signing up within 48 hours of our meeting.  You only need to submit the $99 deposit to receive the discount.  
It’s easy to sign up:
·         Online at
·         By phone – call the WorldStrides Customer Service Team at 800-468-5899, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  Customer Service closes at 8:00 pm Eastern time, so if you miss that, please sign up online!
Your Trip ID # is 206622

More trip information, including the itinerary and cost, was also sent home with your students. We are so excited to offer this trip to the students! It’s going to be great!

We want everyone to attend, regardless of financial need. If you cannot pay the $99 deposit yourself, please fill out the paper registration form and return it to the main office (attention to Ms. Franks) by Friday morning, 11/4.   Please put an X through the payment information, and we will get it turned in for you so you can still get the $50 discount.  Please be sure to sign the paper registration form and indicate if you want the Full Refund Program.  Only fill out the paper registration if you require financial assistance otherwise, please sign up online. If you have any questions or concerns regarding cost, please contact (michelle_franks@greenwich. or Kasey Genovese  (kasey_genovese@greenwich.k12.  All financial situations will be kept confidential.  

For any questions regarding the trip or the informational meeting, please contact Ms. Franks at  michelle_franks@greenwich.



Standing together in support of our schools!


Jason Goldstein, Eastern Middle School Principal

Cristina Broderick and Joanna Willott, EMS PTA Co-Presidents


Gordon Beinstein, Western Middle School Principal

Grace Natale and Beth Acerbo, WMS PTA Co-Presidents


Thomas Healy, Central Middle School Principal

Jen Behette and Dina Urso, CMS PTA Co-Presidents


Street map of central Washington D.C. showing parklands and all government buildings