RLS eighth-graders

From left, Jade Nino Gonzalez, David Aguilera, Alex Topete and Sebastian Gallegos Casas are among the eighth-graders raising money for a field trip to Washington, D.C.

Eighth-graders at St. Helena’s Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School are baking, mowing and selling their way toward a field trip to Washington, D.C.

Each student is trying to raise about $2,300 to attend a field trip June 11-15 that would include stops at the White House, U.S. Capitol, Smithsonian museums, U.S. Holocaust Museum, war memorials, monuments, National Archives, Ford’s Theatre, Arlington National Cemetery, and colonial Jamestown and Williamsburg.

“These kids are really hustling,” said eighth-grade English teacher Jennifer Marinace. “They’re dedicated, they’re working hard, they’re following through when they make a commitment with something, they show up at lunch when they need help, they’re making phone calls to ask for help. They’re really impressing me with their dedication to their task.”

Last week, eighth-graders David Aguilera, Jade Nino Gonzalez, Sebastian Gallegos Casas and Alex Topete talked about the landmarks that interest them the most, including the White House, the Holocaust Museum – they’ve studied the Holocaust in English class – and Jamestown.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the White House because it’s this giant piece of land that our whole country lives on,” Gallegos Casas said.

Each student has to pay their own way, unlike the middle school’s annual Yosemite trip, which the school helps pay for. That’s where the fundraisers come in.

There was a Dine and Donate at Market Restaurant on Tuesday, Jan. 29, a pancake breakfast at the Odd Fellows building and a fundraiser at the Harvest Festival.

Each student is also working on individual fundraisers, organizing bake sales and, in the case of Gallegos Casas, selling snacks at Napa High School soccer games and offering to mow lawns and do yard work.

You might see students selling baked goods in front of Sunshine Foods or helping with the Soroptimist Crab Feed.

One mother is planning to sell tamales outside the St. Helena Catholic Church after an upcoming mass. There’s also a March 1 drive-through tri-tip dinner in the works where students will earn money for each ticket they sell.

To contribute to one of the fundraisers, help with the upcoming tamale sale, order a tri-tip dinner, or otherwise help the students, contact Marinace at jmarinace@sthelenaunified.org or 967-2725.

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