United Way Issues Grant to Greenwich Alliance for 8th Grade DC Trip

The Greenwich United Way announced it had issued an out-of-cycle grant for Greenwich Public Schools’ D.C. Committee and Greenwich Alliance for Education to fund  the 8th grade Washington, D.C. spring field trips for students who might otherwise be unable to afford the approximately $809 cost of the trip (exclusive of additional food and educational items, which bring the average cost to nearly $1,000).

The $30,000+ grant will go toward trip tuition assistance and a stipend for each of the 80 qualifying students. Working together on this initiative, the Greenwich United Way, Greenwich Alliance for Education and the D.C. Committee provide tangible equity and inclusion for Greenwich Public School students, benefiting the student body at large.

The “Beyond the Classroom” 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. has been a time-honored GPS tradition for more than four decades. The mission of the D.C. Committee is to ensure that every middle schooler has the opportunity for the same experiences and all 8th graders can participate in all activities regardless of financial need. The annual field trip directly corresponds with the 8th grade curriculum covering basic structure of government and democracy, provides an introduction to our nation’s capital, and fosters a lifetime of civic engagement. Additionally, the three-day trip serves as a social emotional bonding milestone, builds community among students, and encourages adolescent mental health wellness.

“The Greenwich United Way is focused on narrowing the achievement and opportunity gap among Greenwich students and we recognize the impact that educational programs outside the classroom, such as the annual 8th grade field trip to D.C., can have in developing passionate, curious minds,” said David Rabin, CEO of Greenwich United Way. “It’s imperative that every GPS student has access to the same learning opportunities and we are honored to issue this grant to ensure that is the case.”

“We are elated and profoundly grateful for this meaningful grant from the Greenwich United Way. This tremendously impactful commitment to our Greenwich Public Schools’ 8th grade students ensures that all students who want to attend this culminating middle school experience can, regardless of financial situation,” said Gia Burton, VP Enrichment for Greenwich Public Schools Parents Teachers Association Council. “By supporting these students, the entire 8th grade is able to experience an indelible first-hand introduction to our nation’s capital thereby fostering a deeper understanding of our United States government and history while helping to encourage a lifetime of civic engagement.”

“Making educational opportunities accessible for all Greenwich Public School students has always been the focus of the Alliance’s work,” said Julie Faryniarz, executive director of Greenwich Alliance for Education. “Thanks to the Greenwich United Way for filling in the gap to get our 8th graders to DC for this shared capstone experience.”

For those interested in supporting this joint initiative for the next school year, please contact Gia Burton, D.C. Committee at [email protected].

The Greenwich United Way shares a name with approximately 1,200 other similar organizations across the nation, although the Greenwich, Connecticut division is a privately incorporated, locally governed, nonprofit agency.

As a volunteer-driven organization, the Greenwich United Way exists to help identify and address the health, educational and self-sufficiency needs specific to its local community and to create and affect meaningful, lasting solutions.

Through various fundraising efforts and on-going research, the organization is able to directly grant the funds necessary to accomplish this goal. The Greenwich United Way also invests in and conducts collaborative efforts to address broad-based community needs with partnering nonprofit agencies.