CLINTON HILL — Local parents are raising money to send low-income fourth and fifth graders at P.S. 11 on two class trips to Washington, D.C. this summer.
P.S. 11’s parent teacher association is hoping to raise at least $1,600 to make sure every fourth grader is able to attend the day-trip to D.C. on May 11 and every fifth grader is able to attend the overnight trip to D.C. from June 7 to 8, according to PTA co-president Cynthia McKnight.
McKnight said the PTA wants to help fund students who live in shelters and public housing, or who can’t afford the trips for other reasons.
“Because we have a high concentration of homeless families and low income families we wanted all the kids to have the opportunity to go,” McKnight said.
McKnight said 40 percent of the school’s students receive free or reduced-price lunch.
Seventeen of the school’s fourth graders and six of the fifth graders live in shelters, according to McKnight. Several other students live in public housing or with elderly grandparents.
And some families are unable to afford the trip due to life-changing situations, such as illness or death, according to McKnight.
The school was able to fund every student on last year's trip, but a $122,000 reduction in the budget means students will have to pay their own way this year, according to McKnight.
McKnight said funds would used to pay for tickets for each student, as well as clothing for students who may need it.
The trips cost $80 for each fourth grader and $250 for each fifth grader, since the fifth grade trip is overnight and requires a hotel stay.
The fourth grade trip will include stops at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Air and Space Museum and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.
The fifth grade trip will include visits to the White House, the Supreme Court, the Spy Museum, a local college and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries' D.C office.
“This is a lifetime opportunity,” McKnight said. “We hope that it will spark something in them where they can say, ‘We can live beyond what we’re experiencing now, there’s hope.”
Anyone can send a tax-deductible donation to the school’s PTA, a nonprofit organization. By mailing a check to the school at 419 Waverly Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11238, or through the PTA’s website.