Paschal Sherman Indian School Students Tour Seattle
by Ashley Lodato, Arts Education Director
Eighth and ninth graders at Paschal Sherman Indian School traveled to Seattle for two days in late April. Sixteen students and five chaperones rode the bus from sunny Omak to Seattle’s waterfront, where plans to tour the Olympic Sculpture Park on foot were thwarted by pouring rain. It was determined that a harbor cruise by boat would give the students both a look at the Sculpture Park from the water as well as a memorable nautical experience; for many students, this was a first trip on a big boat.
Despite the rain, students spent much time up on the deck of the boat, admiring the cityscape from the water and learning about Seattle’s shipping docks, waterfront businesses, and role as a port city. They saw ships big and small, and they even saw some California sea lions lounging on a buoy.
After dinner in the Seattle Center Armory, the group attended the new rock musical at Seattle Repertory Theatre. In the intimate seating of the Leo K. theater, the students had excellent views of the stage, as well as of the talented 3-actor cast that brought this creative and unique musical alive. After the show, the students walked through the Seattle Center campus back to the bus, admiring the beauty of the Space Needle at night.
After a night in a Bellevue hotel, the group walked around the Pioneer Square area before taking Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, where they learned many interesting things about Seattle’s geographic and city planning history. Although some students were initially worried about descending into the bowels of the city, they quickly learned that they were actually in the original street-level Seattle area and that much structural reinforcement made the tour safe. Making the tour especially enjoyable was the witty and knowledgeable tour guide, who turned out to be an actor who had performed for these same students with Jet City Improv about four years ago, through Methow Arts’ school presenting series.
Few trips to Seattle are complete without a visit to the Fremont Troll, and the Paschal Sherman students loved the hands-on (and feet-on) experience of exploring the giant sculpture. The 6-hour drive home over a snowy Steven’s Pass seemed to fly by, as students looked through their photos and already began reliving memories of a busy and rewarding urban field trip. They’ll share their experiences with the other students at the school, who will anticipate their own opportunities to visit Seattle when they are older.
For many students, the trip was the first time they had seen a professionally-produced play; some had never been to Seattle. Most of the ninth graders participated in last year’s field trip as eighth graders, but they were surprised and delighted to discover that all the elements of this year’s trip were different: a different play, different tours, different sites. They are learning that there are many ways to experience Seattle.
This field trip was coordinated by Methow Arts Alliance and was sponsored by a private donor from the Methow Valley, the Community Foundation of North Central WA, the Paschal Sherman Indian School, the National Endowment for the Arts, and ArtsWA.
CONTACT: Methow Arts Alliance, 509.997.4004, firstname.lastname@example.org