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New MPS Learning Journey will send 9th graders on free Washington, D.C. educational trip

WCLL studentsFour hundred Milwaukee Public Schools ninth grade students will take part in the pilot of a new Learning Journeys program that will send the students on a five-day, all-expenses paid educational experience to Washington, D.C. The Learning Journey will grow to support all MPS ninth graders participating in the trip every year. While in Washington, D.C., students will visit the White House, Smithsonian Museum, Holocaust Museum, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the U.S. Supreme Court among many other educational attractions.

The program is being funded by Herb Kohl Philanthropies, which was founded by former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, and is supported by the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation.

WCLL students“We are pleased to support MPS Learning Journeys by funding these student trips to Washington, D.C.,” said Herb Kohl. “We want students to have the opportunity to learn about leadership, government, civics and democracy through the invaluable experience of travel that connects the real world to their classrooms. Whether it’s the trip of a lifetime or a life-changing trip, we encourage and support students taking it.”

Learning Journeys are highly-developed, beyond the classroom learning experiences that connect standards-based classroom instruction for MPS students with real-world learning opportunities at southeastern Wisconsin’s finest museums, cultural experiences and scientific venues.

DC trip announcementA Learning Journey connects learning in the classroom with the greater community where students have the chance to have hands-on learning experiences, engage their senses and imagination, and experience beyond their neighborhoods. Current Learning Journeys include Boerner Botanical Gardens, Discovery World, Junior Achievement, Milwaukee Public Museum and Oak Ridge Farm in Waukesha County.

“The MPS Foundation is so very pleased with our partnership with Herb Kohl Philanthropies to make this 9th Grade Learning Journey to Washington, D.C. happen for 400 of our MPS students,” stated Ann Terrell, executive director of the MPS Foundation.  “It has been exciting to plan this groundbreaking program which will be life-changing for our students. The events we have planned for them for this Learning Journey are aligned to their studies and we’ve included some really fun things for them as well!”

WCLL studentStudents at select MPS schools will begin experience this Learning Journey in early 2018. The MPS Foundation and Herb Kohl Philanthropies are partnering with Brightspark Travel, a leader in the educational travel industry with more than sixty years of experience.


About Herb Kohl Philanthropies

Herb Kohl Philanthropies has long supported Wisconsin’s teachers and their schools along with high school students through a Scholarship and Fellowship award program. He also sponsors the state’s Teacher of the Year program and has added a new category of recognition to Principals for outstanding school leadership. In addition to recognizing excellence in education for students, teachers, schools and principals, Herb Kohl Philanthropies supports many educational programs and initiatives such as those that support literacy, pathways to college and experiential learning.

About Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation

The Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation, Inc., seeks to inspire, engage and motivate the community, including philanthropic, business, families, former and current staff and students, in the support of Milwaukee Public schools and the academic achievement of its students. The Foundation was founded in 1998 as a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation for educational and charitable purposes.

About Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
  • The MPS Class of 2016 earned $51+ million in scholarships; and
  • MPS is home to seven of the state and nation’s top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.
© Milwaukee Public Schools 2017
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