Post #5: What We’ve Learned. Many Journeys.

elon bamboo japan
Kyoto, Japan ’17

I almost lost my job because of travel.  Accompanying my then fifth-grade daughter on a school trip to the Monteverde Friends School in Costa Rica was not up for discussion. Could I let her miss out on global and ideas exchange with peers in Central America? No. So, along with other parents, I accepted the invitation to go on that school trip too. And, I kept my job!

As a lifestyle-collective of families of color and independent schools, we work together to raise up the next generation of student leaders, change makers, and influencers. As a result, RIISE often acknowledges the academic, social and emotional journey of our young scholars. But, we also have to recognize travel as another journey many students take at our schools.

As I reflect on the travel my daughter has had because of an independent school (Costa Rica, New Zealand, Japan), I am struck by the benefits of domestic and global travel: social & communication skills, tolerance for uncertainty, and real-life education.

Three-day weekends in Miami, The Hamptons, or far off exotic places for spring break can be the norm for many independent school families. So, this makes curriculum-based school travel for all students fantastic and equitable.

Here are a few things to keep in perspective when it comes to independent school travel:

1.) Before graduating make sure your child experiences travel with a social justice school trip to Detroit, for example, or exchange abroad. It will broaden your child’s horizon.

2.) Don’t assume you can’t afford it. The cost may be scaled by your school based on affordability.

3.) Don’t be afraid to let your child, at an appropriate age, venture into the world without you. Other benefits and insight of a travel curriculum, like cultural and language immersion, can add depth to education.

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