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Local

Centennial Elementary field trip funded by online donors

This year, 138 second-grade students from Centennial Elementary will visit Blackberry Farm in Aurora, thanks to the generosity of donors on DonorsChoose.org.

Susie Thrush, one of six second-grade teachers in the district posted a request Monday morning for $933 to partially fund the trip, which costs a total of $1,400 for busing and entrance fees.

"DonorsChoose has a $1,200 limit and the complete cost is $1,400 for buses and entrance fee," Thrush said. "DonorsChoose recommends going under $1,000 because if you don't get it fully funded you don't get it at all."

The full request was funded by 10 p.m. Monday.

"We had family members of second graders, people from out of town, people we don't even know," she said. "It was amazing. We're all so blessed."

Due to financial difficulties, field trips are not funded by the district, but teachers are allowed to request donations from various organizations and businesses.

Another second-grade teacher, Stacy Richie will post a second request this week for the remainder of the fees.

"What we've got so far funds buses and entry fees for 20 students," Thrush said. "We'll get the link out through Facebook to parents as soon as it's up."

Blackberry Farm is a living history museum in Aurora where pioneer life is recreated through educational demonstrations and hands-on experiences. There's a one-room schoolhouse, a weaver's cabin, a pottery shop and a blacksmith shop, among other activities.

 
"We've done this field trip for 13 years with second graders. It's an amazing experience," Thrush said. "Some of them don't get out of Streator much. There's no end to the ways they can experience it and then they can come back and write about it."

The field trip is set for Tuesday, May 15, weather permitting. If it rains, the trip will be rescheduled.

To donate to the second cause, visit DonorsChoose.org and search for Streator or Centennial Elementary. The second post will be listed under Stacy Richie's name.

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