12-My Class Goes to Disneyland

12-My Class Goes to Disneyland


My good-buddy teaching friend, Kathy, and I got the brainy idea to take my first grade class and her third/fourth grade class (which was on the nearby Paiute Indian reservation) to Disneyland for a day trip. Once again I had a friend with a strong personality (like Nancy) and lots of plans and goals, and we worked together very well.

We formed a 501c3 corporation which we named Excursion Bound. We procured a sizable donation ($1,500) from a local foundation, The Fleishman Foundation, and collected many small donations from rummage sales, interested community organizations, concessions stands at various schools’ sports events, and individuals, raising a total of $4,500. Recycling was a brand new phenomenon and very popular, and the kids and their parents and friends saved tons of aluminum cans.

Kathy and I had both grown up in southern California and had both been to Disneyland several times. We wanted our students to have their own magic experience there, one that they may not have a chance to enjoy in their future.

We put the children in pairs with their classmates and assigned an adult to each pair. The adult was either a parent or a person well known to us. We reproduced a large map of the park and let each team choose how they would use their ticket books. Adult admission was $3.75, and the 7-ticket book was $4.75. Children’s (ages 3-11) admission price was $1.25 and their ticket books were $3.75 (prices courtesy of AllEars.Net) The adult would guide the children through the park, ride with them, and never leave their sides.

We took 50 children and 27 adults. The adults paid their own way.

DisneylandWe included a school nurse, a local photographer, our classroom assistants, and many of the parents. The kindergarten teachers at each of our schools weren’t about to be left out. Susan and Rita joined us and each teamed up with a pair of kids. We flew to Sacramento and then to San Francisco and on to Los Angeles. A chartered bus met us at the airport and took us to Anaheim. Everything went without a hitch. We counted heads a hundred times and got back to the Reno airport late that night with the same people we’d left with!

Forty-four years later (last year!), I was in the Sparks Library and recognized one of the parents who had gone on the trip with her daughter. She said her daughter’s twin, who had been in the other first grade class at our school, had never forgiven them for leaving her behind. That was sad! But the mom said it was still a highlight of her life and thanked me again.

We were featured on page 21 of the Nevada State Journal! That’s me, on the left wearing the poncho, with two of the fourth grade girls, and Kathy in the mini skirt.