Students to visit Laos over spring break

Aaron Lyons

Video arts teacher Cheri Gaulke is partnering with Friendship World Tours to take students on a spring break trip to Laos.

The trip labeled an “investigative journalism adventure” will last 11 days, from March 21 through April 1.

Former history teacher and founder of the company, Althea Paradis, will accompany students on the trip.

“Teaching students about history in desks is a very nineteenth century way to impart information,” Paradis said. “Experiencing a place and meeting the people, really immersing oneself as a temporary local is what makes history relevant.”

Students will be able to attend daily journalism seminars from Emmy-Award winning television producer Jeff MacIntyre.

These daily  journalism seminars will include video-journalism as well as story-telling workshops to teach students how to create a documentary .

“From a history perspective and from a perspective of using journalism to tell stories that aren’t getting out, video as a tool is exciting. You can take people places, tell them stories they might not know about, bring that reality to them,” Gaulke said.

Students will be able to visit several cities including the capital, Vientiane, to “witness the legacy of war in a context of safety and mutual understanding.”

In these cities students  will not only  sightsee, but also will do volunteer work and conduct interviews with Laotian natives and those who have been victims of cluster bombs.

The trip is currently open for all students in ninth through 12th grade and costs $3,885 excluding airfare. One percent of the proceeds will be donated to projects to help local children in the area.