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Rich Abrams

fundraising ideas

Fundraising Ideas For School Trips

By Travel

Money is tight for a lot of school districts, nowadays, so educators are called upon to be even more creative than usual when mulling over fundraising ideas for school trips.

Even a day trip needs funding to pay for transportation, but if you’re going overnight, you may need a little extra fiscal padding to pull it all off.  That’s where your bright fundraising ideas make all the difference.

Let’s review some great fundraising ideas for school trips, in the interest of getting your students out in the field, with the funds needed to make it a success.

F2F.

Face-to-face fundraising can be highly effective.  Your job is to understand whether your fundraising efforts are coming at a time when parents and other parties you’re seeking funds from aren’t feeling tapped out by other appeals.

And that’s all in the communication and planning.  Knowing what other teachers have planned in terms of raising funds for their school trips is where to start.  Try to find the most opportune moment to send your kids out with whatever item they’ll be selling to fund the trip.

Door-to-door fundraising, while sometimes very effective is being increasingly discouraged, due to security issues.  Much more reliable is setting up a table in a mall, at the entrance of a major shopping outlet, or even on a busy street corner.  Approach your target location to get permission first.

FundRazr.

All over the world, people are taking to the internet to raise money for civic, personal and creative projects.  Your class can do the same to fund your school trip.

FundRazr is a highly reputable online crowdfunding portal where your students can know the thrill of raising money for a group activity.

Raising money for your school trip this way also offers students valuable administrative learning, teaches them the power of community and the value of collaboration to achieve a common goal.

SYTA Youth Foundation Road Scholarship.

Every year, this worthy organization funds students for school trips.  Hundreds of children who wouldn’t otherwise be financially able to participate in school trips are given the chance they deserve to join their fellows on a learning experience.

SYA will fund students in varying amounts, up to a limit of $1,000 per student.  Students may apply during two defined application periods:  from February 01 – March 15 and from September 01 – October 15.

As the group leader, you fill out applications on behalf of your students.

Scratch cards.

Junior Tours loves making student travel more affordable with these hassle-free fundraising aids.  Students purchase the cards.  Donors are then invited to scratch off a box and donate the amount revealed.  The return per card is $150, against the $10 per card purchase price.

There’s no ordering or delivery, so these cards are a great way for students to easily raise the funds required for your school trip.

These fundraising ideas for school trips are offered to make student travel more widely accessible and to support your own bright ideas.

Ready to go?  Contact Junior Tours for a free sample itinerary and quote.

trolley passing by the capital building in Washington, DC

Field Trips to Washington, DC – We Make it Easy for Teachers‎

By Travel

Whether the focus of your field trip to Washington, DC is history or politics, Junior Tours brings you expert knowledge.  We make it easy for teachers to create outstanding field trips to our nation’s capital.

We pride ourselves on destination knowledge that goes beyond standard educational itineraries.  Add to that our 50 years’ experience taking students on field trips to Washington, DC and a diverse selection of other great US cities and you have a winning strategy for a seamlessly-realized field trip.

Washington, DC is the site of political intrigue and historical interest.  Here, students can stand in the shadow of Lincoln and walk in the footsteps of Barack Obama, experiencing the magisterial awe of this center of international power.

History, power and culture.

Inside the Beltway is where the most potent leadership of the 20th Century was played out, against a backdrop of American history and achievement.

Your students can stand before the Declaration of Independence, or marvel at the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, at his recently installed monument.  They can experience the endless wonders of the Smithsonian Institute Museums, or a day in the life of our nation’s governing bodies.

With a wealth of museums covering every subject from international espionage to African-American history, students will be spoiled for choice.  Junior Tours stands in the gap, helping you select the attractions which are most relevant to the subject matter your group is studying.

Washington, DC is more than an icon of power.  It’s like an open-air timeline of the USA, memorializing the grand story of this nation on every corner, in every street and in all its neighborhoods.

Washington, DC made easy.

In Washington, DC, your students can be inspired to pursue careers in a wide range of sectors, from politics, to federal government service, to the Arts, Washington, DC is a lively vocational incubator which offers your students a wealth of inspiration for the future.

With our easy planning process, we open the doors of Washington, DC to your students, even assisting you with fundraising.  Your field trip starts with your request for a free sample itinerary and quote.  From there, we guide you through the planning process, making sure you get exactly the field trip you envision.

We help book your museum and attraction tickets and even help you ready your students for the coming adventure, providing assistance with behavioral guidelines and packing advice.  We also have an app which helps you remind students about what they should be doing to prepare for their adventure.

At Junior Tours, we tailor our field trips to educator goals, ensuring that field trips to Washington, DC are easy to plan.  Student Tours with Junior exceed expectations, because we bring you the personal touch that corporate-owned, large scale tour providers don’t have.

Go with Junior.

Founded by a teacher in 1967, Junior Tours has been creating exceptional educational experiences for students for 50 years.

Go with Junior for customized field trips to Washington, DC.  We make it easy for teachers!

New York City and the Statue of Liberty

Board-Approved Trips to NYC – Easy to Plan Student Tours

By Travel

Taking your class to the Big Apple doesn’t need to be a hair-raising experience.  Board-approved trips to NYC and easy to plan student tours become super simple with the experts at Junior Tours.

We’re celebrating 50 years of bringing educators easy to plan student tours this year.  Founded in 1967 by a teacher, Junior Tours brings you the best of our beloved concrete jungle, with something to engage students in every conceivable subject area.

Your Board will smile upon you.

School Boards everywhere light up like Christmas trees when teachers tell them they’re going with Junior Tours.  They know that our name means exceptional educational experiences for your students, so your trip will be Board-approved in no time flat.

Knowing you have the experts at Junior planning your tour is reassuring news for Boards who have the best interests of students and student security foremost in their minds.  When seeking approval for your school trip, you can walk into the meeting with confidence, with Junior’s half-century of experience in your presentation folder.

We’re a family owned and operated business that offers educators a customized, boutique experience.  We’re not a big, impersonal company with an automated switchboard.  We’re the real thing, with real people and personalized attention that tailors your trip to your group’s needs and interests.

We’ve shown over 500,000 students around the great cities of the USA and 9 out of 10 groups come back for more of what Junior offers.

NYC made easy.

At Junior, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of America’s most iconic city.  We know this city and its attractions inside out.  From the Art Deco glamor of the Empire State Building to the endless artistic wonders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we make NYC easy.

In NYC, your students can be inspired to pursue careers in a wide range of sectors, from the Arts, to finance, to fashion, to media, New York City is the place where dreams are made real – and where they’re born.

With our simple planning process, we open the doors of the Big Apple to your students, even assisting you with fundraising.  Your trip begins with a request to us for a free sample itinerary and quote.  From there, we walk you through our planning process, ensuring you get precisely the trip you envision.

We help book theater tickets and workshops and even assist you to prepare your students, offering help with behavioral guidelines and packing tips.  We also offer teachers an app you can use to remind students of what they need to be doing to prepare, every step of the way.

At Junior Tours, we work to educator goals, ensuring that Board-approved trips to NYC are easy to plan.  Student Tours with Junior are a cut above, because we bring you the personal touch the big providers can’t duplicate.

Junior – the NYC insiders.

Junior is uniquely placed to show you around this incredible city, because we’re NYC insiders.  Reach out and let Junior show you around the greatest city on earth.

female teacher with laptop and bunch of books

Top Travel Tips. Bring Your History Knowledge and Questions.

By Travel

When traveling with students, one of the greatest gifts you can give them is leadership.  You’re the teacher and you’re the example, so you set the tone. Our top travel tips can help.

That means preparing extensively, whether you’re taking your class on a field trip to a nearby site, or somewhere further afield for an overnight adventure.  When you’re fully prepared to address the destination and the educational gifts it offers, your students will likewise be encouraged to raise their own questions, based on what they know.

Your leadership gives your students the confidence they need to ask the right questions and to be just as prepared as you are.  Let’s look at these top travel tips, so you can bring your history knowledge and questions along for the thrilling ride.

Preparation in the classroom.

As an educator, you put a lot of time into what you teach your students in the classroom.  Every lesson is carefully planned and executed with student engagement in mind.  When you’re adding an in-the-field experience to the mix, you’re challenging your students.

You’re challenging them to glean from your teaching the knowledge they need to make the most of their experience, when you finally set off on your learning adventure.  Part of the challenge is making it clear to them that you’re setting the example.  Because you know your stuff, you expect them to have similar, in-depth knowledge to get the most from their trip.

Lead time in the run up to the excursion should follow a trajectory from the moment it’s announced.  Letting your students know that you’re expecting them to bring their history knowledge and questions with them (because you are) is a vote of confidence in their ability to prepare.

In fact, preparation for an experiential learning event should be part of what students are graded on.  Their ability to prepare intellectually for what they’re going to experience is a big part of the learning they’re getting access to.  Let them know that their prep is worth valuable currency in terms of their eventual grades.

Trip-specific preparation.

As you draw closer to your departure date, share with students more information about where you’re going and what they can expect to see there.  Provide them with website addresses and other resources to allow them to explore and get themselves ready for what they’re about to experience.

Make it clear that the more they know about the destination, the more immediate their experience of it will be.  Learning is a two-way street.  Deposit education is colorless.  When the educational project flows only from educator to student, it’s missing dialogue.  Add dialogue to your trip-specific preparation and have students take ownership of their own education.

That’s endlessly empowering.

Junior Tours.

Junior Tours has been taking students on educational adventures for 50 years.  Founded in 1967 by a teacher, we create personalized learning experiences which bring your teaching to life.

If you’re ready to take your students on an experiential learning journey, contact Junior for a free sample quote and itinerary.

Approved stamped in red letters

Getting Your Trip Approved by Your School Board or Committee

By Travel

It’s that time of year.  You’re busily putting your educational action plan in place and part of that is getting your trip approved by your School Board or committee.

In these days of tight budgets, that can be a daunting task.  But when you approach it in an organized fashion, with complete confidence in your vision and the value of the trip you’re planning to students, you’ll be well on your way to gaining approval.

Preparation.

We don’t need to remind educators about the value of preparation.  All the same, when it comes to getting the required approval for a trip, it can mean the difference between “yes” and “no”.  While regulations and requirements vary from Board to Board and committee to committee, there are global, overarching requirements you should recognize, while preparing for your presentation.

One of these is demonstrating that your trip proposal meets the requirements of the curriculum and serves the learning goals represented by it.  This demands clarity on your part.  Describing how your trip satisfies curricular goals mean that you go into your presentation with a good pitch to sell the idea.

You should also have in hand detailed information about your tour provider, a budget per student, information about security and insurance and a well-crafted itinerary.

Operator credentials.

Decision-makers want to know that you’re working with a reputable tour operator, with an unblemished track record.

Membership in SYTA (Student & Youth Travel Association) is an assurance that you’re working with an accredited, licensed operator, under the aegis of an organization with clear standards.  In addition, a membership in the NTA (National Tour Association) indicates that your tour operator adheres to consumer protection guidelines, as the NTA acts in this role as part of its mandate.

It’s also useful to demonstrate that your operator administers in-trust accounts which protect student payments and to provide a copy of their license to do business.  Offering all this information generates greater confidence in the legitimacy of the tour company you use and shows administrators due diligence on your part.

Presenting with confidence.

You’re not walking into a lion’s den.  It’s important to remember that you’re pitching your trip to fellow educational professionals with the best interests of students in mind.  You’re on the same team, so your job is to get your colleagues on the same page.

With all the information described above organized into a presentation package, you walk into your meeting with the School Board or committee as a confident professional.

Provide each member you’ll be presenting to with a package which clearly outlines the goals and purpose of your trip.  Include the credentials of your operator and provide a 360° overview addressing all potential concerns.  This is detailed preparation your colleagues will appreciate.

Approval granted!

Getting your trip approved by your School Board or committee is all about preparation.  When you’re prepared, they’re likely to grant approval.

Junior Tours has been creating exceptional student trips since 1967.  Contact us for a free quote and sample itinerary.

teacher talking to a group of students on a field trip

Tips for Teachers to Execute an Awesome Field Trip

By Travel

The school year is in full swing and educator thoughts are turning to field trips.  Field trips serve a strong supportive role in educating our young and teachers know that.  But if they’re new to the job, or have had some hair-raising experiences in the field in the past, the whole idea can haul them up short.

That’s why we’re offering these tips for teachers to execute an awesome field trip.  Fear not, brave educators!  Junior Tours has you covered.

Peer support.

There’s nothing more valuable to teachers than the support of their peers.  Even if you haven’t taken your class to a local destination of interest before, somebody in your school has.  Once you’ve decided on where you’re taking your young charges, seek out the experiences of fellow teachers who’ve done it before.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the knowledge of people at your destination, like docents and visitor services professionals.  These are your best friends when taking your kids into the field.  They can share important information with you to make your field trip a memorable learning experience.

Chaperone prep.

Parent chaperones often have their own ideas about the way things should be done.  Input is fine, but making it clear you’re in charge is paramount here.

Gather your chaperones together before the field trip to describe the itinerary and assign duties.  Ensure everyone’s on the same page to avoid misunderstandings while you’re on your trip.  You’re the boss.  Chaperones are there to support you.

Homework for you.

Having direct, advance knowledge of the site you’re visiting before you go is an imperative.  You need to see where you’re going, identify potential problem areas and understand the site from the standpoint of your learning goals.

Doing a walkthrough in your spare time is part of being a teacher.  It will prepare you to share something with your students that you’ve experienced yourself and eliminate any unpleasant surprises on the “day off”.

The goal is learning.

Setting out behavioral guidelines before the trip is a priority.  Your students need to understand clearly that field trips aren’t an opportunity to text their friends incessantly or pursue their latest crushes.  They’re an opportunity to learn something.

Having a strongly defined itinerary is also extremely supportive.  Lunch is a challenge, but keep that time brief and engaging.  Talk to your students while they’re eating.  Ask their opinions about what they’ve seen on their field trip in the morning.  Don’t let them drift off, as that can spell trouble.

Junior Tours – your field trip partners.

If you’re a rookie teacher, we know field trips can be a daunting undertaking.  But fear not!  You’ll soon be an old hand.

At Junior Tours, we understand.  We were founded by a teacher in 1967.  We’re celebrating 50 years of taking students on exceptional learning experiences this year. We invite you to contact us for a free quote and sample itinerary.

These tips for teachers to execute an awesome field trip are our “new school year” gift to teachers!

Times Square New York City

Destination Education: What Is a Must-See Place In Your State?

By Uncategorized

You’ve been thinking about how you can keep your students engaged this school year by taking them out into the wider world to enrich their classroom learning. That’s great, but where to go?  What’s within range?  No matter which state you’re located in, there are sites and points of interest which are bound to fire young imaginations and help you reach your educational goals.

This post, “Destination education: what is a must-see place in your state?” is about getting creative with your curricular imperatives and taking your students on an adventure in their own state.

Something for everyone.

In all 50 states of the Union, there’s something for everyone.  Regardless of what you’re teaching students, you’ll find a site that answers your learning objectives.

The USA is a nation rich in history, archaeological sites and museums of all kinds.  In every state, there’s a vast array of educational opportunities which fit the bill.

From New York to Orlando – fascination.

Florida is about much more than beaches and the Everglades.  In Florida, with its unique climate and location, there are opportunities to engage in numerous activities and excursions.  Orlando offers fun and learning at Disney World, where students can enjoy everything from performance opportunities to performing arts workshops.

Universal Studios and the Kennedy Space Center can also be found in Orlando, offering educators a wide range of subject interest and extraordinary experiences for students.

New York City is replete with learning opportunities, from the cultural history of its vibrant ethnic neighborhoods, to the Statue of Liberty.  Experience the excitement of Wall Street, or the thrill of live theatre at the world class level in this iconic city that never sleeps.

Art students will thrill to the enormous collections on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).  They’ll be treated to the endless fascination of almost 200,000 pieces of art in its continually evolving repertoire.

It’s easy to find must-see places in every state, from New York City to Orlando, Florida.  In a nation of this size, with attractions that never seem to end, educators are spoiled for choice and students are treated to a smorgasbord of learning.

Junior Tours takes you there.

Since 1967, Junior Tours has been leading students on curated learning adventures which open a window to the world, illuminating classroom education with experiential adventure.

Because we’ve been student travel professionals for 50 years, we offer educators expert knowledge of attractions and sites in the USA, coupled with logistics excellence and premier service.   We know that the USA is an endless source of interest and education for students of all ages.

Whether you’re visiting Tammany Hall in New York to hear its tales of political intrigue, or the traditional, the Magnificent Mile Chicago to explore its exceptional architectural riches, Junior’s extensive educational travel expertise and knowledge of local vendors gets to the must-see places all over this great nation.

If you’re ready to take your students on an unforgettable educational adventure, contact Junior Tours for a free quote and sample itinerary.

outdoor education autumn

Take the Classroom Outside This Fall

By Travel

Curious young minds demand creative efforts by teachers.  It’s no secret.  That’s why taking the classroom outside this fall is the perfect way to underline what they’re learning with what they crave – direct experience.

It’s one thing to look at a picture of a tree in a book, or to read about the great deeds of historical figures.  But taking students to see the tree in all its fall glory, or to the site at which history was made is a much richer experience, for obvious reasons.

Fall is a great time to take your kids into the world they’re learning about.  With the leaves changing color and the crisp, clean fall air, your students will be given the opportunity to see learning in a whole new light.

Student engagement.

The classroom can be a place where students occasionally glaze over. Whether low blood sugar, youthful angst, or boredom (or all the above) are the root of their disengagement, it’s clear that shaking things up is a great way to restore their interest.

Taking them outside into the field is one of the most effective ways to break through the cobwebs.  Show them what they’re learning about in the classroom.  Let them experience the subject matter as a reality to which they have access.  That’s an empowering moment for young minds and one that will help them stick to the program, once back in the classroom.

Exploration and creativity.

While the classroom is a necessary developmental tool, teaching students discipline, time-keeping and accountability, punctuating classroom time with experiential learning makes it richer and instills the value of exploration and creativity.

Imagine taking students to a historic site and having them act out the roles of the history makers they’ve been reading about.  Or have them draw what they’re seeing outside as part of a larger classroom project.  The opportunities to gift your students with the ability to explore and create is limitless when you take the classroom outside this fall.

The real thing.

Learning from books is largely an abstraction.  It’s the difference between leafing through old copies of National Geographic and going on safari.  No comparison!

Treating your students to an encounter with the real thing is experiential and visceral.  When what they’ve been learning about in the classroom is suddenly presented to them in its real-world format, it becomes more relevant and resonant.

The reality of learning and its purpose is underlined when students are taken out into the world to explore and experience the subjects they’re studying.

Go with Junior.

Junior Tours has been creating memorable educational experience for students since 1967.  For 50 years, we’ve been working with educators from all 50 states to build customized itineraries that make learning exciting.

Take the classroom outside this fall with Junior.  Founded by a teacher, we create learning experiences which honor educator goals and teach students that the world is their oyster.

When you go with Junior Tours, you go with 50 years’ experience in student excursions.  Contact us for a free quote and sample itinerary.

Broadway Theater

Student Class Trips to New York City: Coming Soon to a Broadway Theater Near You!

By Travel

New York, New York!  Concrete jungle where dreams come true.  For some, those dreams come true in the glare of the footlights.

Now that summer is fading, the fall season of Broadway plays is about to take hold, with all the excitement the stage is famous for.  Student class trips to New York City are a stellar opportunity for students with an interest in the arts to encounter a whole new world – the world of Broadway Theater!

An adventure waiting to happen.

Student class trips to New York offer so much to students who love adventure and learning in the field.  There’s the thrill of one of the most active, energetic cities on the planet, coupled with the excitement of encountering the many worlds encompassed by the Big Apple.

Spend the day exploring the history of New York in its diverse neighborhoods, established by the people who came to Ellis Island, full of hope, then head to Broadway to experience exceptional live theater and the gifted people who make it happen.

Every year, Broadway is graced with talent from the past and present, with old favorites joined by new entries, pumping new blood into this proving ground of stagecraft.  From Spiderman:  Turn off the Dark, to the Lion King, musicals abound, marrying music to the legendary acting talents of some of the finest actors to ever tread the boards.

Non-stop excitement.

Imagine taking your students to Wall Street, the financial powerhouse known for intrigue, sleight of hand and the pulsating, frenetic stock market.  The ghost of infamous Wall Street anti-hero Gordon Gekko joins that of Abbie Hoffman, the 1960s activist who once showered the Stock Exchange floor with dollar bills.

An evening performance of Les Miserables couldn’t be more thematically perfect to share with students the lessons of excess and misery so often linked in one of the world’s most formidable financial markets.

Something for everyone.

Whether you’re a drama teacher shepherding your students through classics like Arsenic and Old Lace, or a teacher of literature, taking them to a performance of the spring season’s latest arrival, Roald Dahl’s Mathilda, Broadway offers something for everyone, linking educator goals to the magic of live theater.

The role of theater in education goes beyond stagecraft, touching on topics as diverse as culture, society, history and politics.  Broadway provides educators with numerous opportunities to teach outside the box and give students fresh perspective on numerous subjects in the yearly curriculum.

Ready to go?

If you’re ready to take your students on the adventure of a lifetime, New York City awaits.  Broadway and beyond, this city has it all.  Its rich history and culture embrace everything from the arts as expressed in theater, to great museums like MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art).

Because you’re an educator, you relish the chance to educate outside the box, employing tools like the work of great playwrights to share another way of looking at the world.  Contact us to find out more.

happy students on a field trip in the woods

The Benefits of Learning Through Field Trips this School Year

By Travel

One of the most glorious realities of being young is the curiosity that comes with it.  Young people love to explore beyond their immediate environments, reaching out to discover the world. That’s why the benefits of learning through field trips this school year are numerous.  Field trips answer youthful curiosity with opportunities to encounter the world beyond the classroom.

Taking your students out into the world is a highly visual experience.  In the runup to a field trip, no matter where you’re taking your kids, preparation ensures your students can get the most from the excursion and reap the maximum benefit possible.

Structure vs. adventure.

The promise of learning outside the classroom sets student minds on fire.  Not only do they get out of their familiar, highly-structured classroom setting.  There’s the opportunity to connect with classmates and enjoy some social time along the way.  The anticipation alone primes them for the experience.

Instead of being bound by the constraints of the curriculum and the discipline of the classroom, students on field trips are free to go where their curiosity takes them.  This helps them develop specific areas of interest and confidence in their choices.  Autonomy in learning is an important benefit of field trips.

But it’s the promise of an adventure that makes field trips the highlight of any school year.  When you take your kids outside the classroom, you’re sending the message that you’re ready to share the world of learning with them in a new way.  You have sufficient confidence in them to set them loose on the subject, so they can explore aspects of it which genuinely interest them.

Fresh input.

Standing at the front of a classroom and imparting knowledge is hard work and it’s often difficult to maintain engagement, when you’re constrained by curricular imperatives.

Taking your students on a field trip provides them with fresh intellectual and sensory input, enlivening the subject you’re teaching with 3D experiences which bring your teaching to vibrant life.  In an unstructured environment, leadership is still required, but there’s also the opportunity for exploration and tactile, interactive engagement to underline what you’ve been trying to share with them.

Managing the downsides.

The modern world offers many distractions.  Students taken into a public setting may be tempted to get distracted by their mobile devices, the noise and activity in the setting they’re in and the general high spirits youth is prone to.

But as an educator, you can manage the downsides, by being clear with your students about what’s expected.  You may even ask them to agree to relinquish cell phones prior to entering the site you’re visiting.

By far the best move teachers can make is to adequately prepare students for the experience they’re about to have.

Get there with Junior.

Junior Tours has been in the business of creating exceptional learning tours and field trips for students since 1967.  For 50 years, we’ve been tailoring student outings to educator goals. Contact us for a free sample itinerary.