Scott Rainey has taken tons of of Washougal middle-school college students to the East Coast in the course of the previous 18 years on an schooling discipline journey that features stops in New York Metropolis, Washington, D.C., and a number of the United States’ most well-known historic landmarks.

Rainey, a historical past trainer at Jemtegaard Center College, is comfortable for the scholars, however equally unhappy for the pupils that he has to depart behind — the children who need to go however merely can’t afford the journey prices.

That’s why he’s launching a nonprofit group referred to as East County Pupil Journey that may elevate funds for college kids to take journeys like his.

“I’ve mentioned one million instances that if I gained the lottery, I’d gladly write a try of my very own pocket for any child who couldn’t afford it as a result of I’ve seen simply how highly effective journey is is for teenagers when it comes to opening their eyes to what the world is and the issues past their small group,” Rainey mentioned. “There’s a giant world on the market, and it’s fairly superior and superb, and there’s nice issues to see, so I need to give as many youngsters as potential the possibility to do this.”

Rainey has arrange accounts at native iQ Credit score unions and is working to ascertain a Fb web page that may settle for donations. He’s additionally wanting into the opportunity of partnering with institutions, corresponding to Burgerville, MOD Pizza, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and others, that donate a sure share of their gross sales to nonprofit organizations.

And he’s making an attempt to determine one of the simplest ways of allocating the funds that he does obtain.

“We’re actually nonetheless within the strategy of exploring (the reply to that), to be trustworthy, as a result of we now have to have the cash first,” he mentioned. “I feel in all probability what it must come all the way down to, and the best way I’ve regarded on the mannequin that numerous these nonprofits use, is to (give cash) on a wants foundation, form of a sliding scale form of factor, primarily based on the place the household’s coming from and whatnot. I had a child who was successfully homeless, and it was like, ‘Nicely, OK, there’s actually no different household sources right here.’ So if there’s a state of affairs like that, we’d in all probability be taking a look at a whole scholarship, whereas with different youngsters, it could be $1,000 or $2,000 or no matter it might be. We’d should work with the households individually.”

Rainey is taking extra of a grass-roots method to soliciting college students for now, however ultimately hopes to undertake a “formal utility course of.”

“At this level, I’m simply form of placing it on the market to my households that come to my data conferences,” he mentioned. “I say, ‘I’ve this basis, and we’re simply form of getting began out. If in case you have a monetary want, we are able to hopefully enable you out with that.’ I think about that after the ball will get rolling, as soon as we are able to get some company donations and get $20,000 or $30,000 within the coffers, we are going to in all probability start a proper utility course of.”

Rainey’s discipline journey has develop into an annual “ceremony of passage” for a lot of Washougal eighth-graders. They go to the cities of Jamestown and Williamsburg in Virginia to find out about the USA’ early colonial period and function within the Revolutionary Struggle. They go to Mount Vernon, additionally in Virginia, to see the plantation owned by the nation’s first president, George Washington. Rainey takes the scholars to Washington, D.C., the place they tour the USA Capitol, Arlington Nationwide Cemetery and the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and take photographs exterior of the White Home. They journey to Pennsylvania, the place they go to the famed Gettysburg Civil Struggle battlefield and have dinner with an Amish household in Lancaster. The journey ends in New York Metropolis, the place the scholars go to Occasions Sq., Broadway, Wall Avenue and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

“(The tour) is a whirlwind of dwell reenactment websites, museums, monuments, memorials, guided excursions, and extra,” in response to a letter written by Cynthia Fahrenkrug, a particular schooling paraeducator for the Washougal College District, who nominated Rainey for the Veterans of Overseas Wars (VFW) Division of Washington’s 2021-22 Citizenship Schooling Center College Trainer of the Yr award, which he gained. “And it is a chance of a lifetime for a lot of the scholar (and mum or dad) members. Many develop a far deeper appreciation of our historical past, and the progress and evolution distinctive to our nation.”

Rainey mentioned that when he began the journey in 2004, it price about $2,000 per scholar. Now it prices greater than $4,000.

“There’s an actual situation of fairness occurring with this,” he mentioned. “After all it’s actuality, however I feel it’s horrible that you’ve a bunch of children with unbelievable potential, and the one factor holding them again is monetary limitations. If it weren’t for these limitations, they may go on to be an ideal head of state or creator or explorer or inventor or no matter it might be. What number of sources have we squandered, what number of nice discoveries have been misplaced, simply because (youngsters have been advised), ‘Nicely, sorry, you possibly can’t afford to do that?’ It simply form of kills me. I do know that I’m not going to have the ability to ship each child on a visit, however I’m going to offer this type of expertise to as lots of them as I can.”

About 45% of Jemtegaard college students qualify totally free and diminished lunch, in response to Rainey.

“And if I may take each a type of youngsters on this journey, I’d do it in a heartbeat, as a result of it’s a game-changer,” he mentioned. “It’s an opportunity to see the world and see issues that you simply by no means would have seen. My favourite quote is from Mark Twain, who mentioned, ‘Journey is deadly to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness,’ and that’s actually a giant a part of it. The explanation why I’m so huge on journey is that it opens minds. It offers anybody the chance to see that someplace that’s completely different isn’t dangerous, isn’t scary, isn’t evil. It’s simply completely different, and completely different is cool.”

For extra details about East County Pupil Journey, e-mail

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