Valdosta Daily Times

March 28, 2014

Students hold car wash for Ghana trip

Kristin Finney
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Getting to know people of other cultures is one of the most important ways to educate today’s youth. With that thought in mind, Valdosta City Schools have decided to allow their students to go on a trip to Ghana this summer.

To go on the trip, the students must raise $25,000. The cost is $1,970 per student, which covers airline tickets and transportation to Atlanta.

In order to raise the funds, students will be holding a car wash Saturday, March 29 at Valdosta Middle School. Tickets are being pre-sold for $5, but drive-ups are welcome as well. The car wash will be from 8:30a.m.-12:30p.m.  

During the car wash, students will also be selling fish sandwiches, chips and drinks for $3 with a car wash.

Fourteen students from four city schools (Valdosta Middle, J.L. Newburn, VECA and Valdosta High School) will be traveling to Ghana June 2-16 to take part in the Ghana Exchange.

While on the trip, students will learn about the world around them. They will learn about other countries, their customs and their people.  

"The goal of the program is for students to become globally competent. I want students to develop the knowledge and skills to:Investigate the World. Global competence starts by being aware, curious, and interested in learning about the world and how it works. Globally competent students ask and explore critical questions and ‘researchable’ problems and  address important events that are relevant world wide - in their own community and in communities across the globe. Students will engage in service learning projects such as building a library for a local community and creating documentary to assist in dispelling negative stereotyping surrounding Africa and Africans," said Marilyn Johnson, the Ghana Exchange Director for VCS.

Once the students return from their trip, they will be asked to complete a project explaining what they learned. They will have the option of completing an essay, a problem or design solution, a scientific explanation or a work of art.   

"Students will be able to use local, national and international sources to connect the local to the global, for example, by explaining how a local issue like school bullying, prejudice and stereotyping  is a global problem far beyond their backyards," said Johnson.

Johnson was inspired to plan this trip after seeing the students from Newbern Middle School participate in the Valdosta British Exchange Program. She explained, "I could see students make a connection to England historically and culturally with the knowledge they gained in the classroom. I decided students from Newbern also needed an opportunity to make the same connections with a country that they also shared ancestry."

If you do not need your car washed, but would like to help with the trip, you can also donate to the program. All donations can be mailed to VMS 110 Burton Ave. Valdosta, GA. 31602.  Checks or money orders should be made out to VMS Ghana Exchange.