PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Sixth graders from a West Philadelphia charter school returned from Easter break Tuesday- after spending several days on a learning excursion where they explored civil rights history.
Alir, Jordan and Dana are sixth graders at the Global Leadership Academy Charter School, and are just three of the 39 who spent a week on the road.
“I just felt energized,” said Alir. “It was very exciting and it opened me up to new possibilities.”
The scholars visited civil rights landmarks in Atlanta, Ga, Birmingham Alabama, and Memphis Tennessee all while making stops a key cites like Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King preached, as well as his childhood home.
Sixth grader Jordan said, “Seeing where he grew up at and the church that he went to really impacted my life.”
They toured historically black colleges, explored the Birmingham bus boycott– and took a tour of the Lorraine Motel– where Dr. King drew his last breath.
Classmate Dana said, “It was a very sacred place and very sad because everything was still there from that day. I felt like I saw him right there in front of my face.”
Robert Wildes, a Global Academy Leader said, “When they are there and they see it, it definitely captures their attention.”
Wildes says the trip is part of a curriculum that teaches history and social change in the classroom, and enhances it with mobile learning that includes real world stops along the underground railroad and the Triangle Slave Trade.