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Chestatee Elementary gets grant for trip to Georgia Aquarium

NORTHEAST FORSYTH — Chestatee Elementary has received a pioneer grant to send all 175 of its second-graders to the Georgia Aquarium under its program for Title I schools.

The aquarium will pay for all students and 35 chaperons to enter the facility on Dec. 4, with the school only being responsible for transportation, said Amanda Schwartz, a second-grade teacher.

“Many of our students cannot afford to go to the aquarium,” Schwartz said. “Some of them seldom leave the Cumming/Gainesville area.

“This field trip not only gives them the experience of seeing the animals and aquatic life at the aquarium, but it also provides a life experience that they might not [get] otherwise.

“They will be traveling [in] downtown [Atlanta], seeing buildings and things that they might not have ever seen before.”

A public school is designated Title I if at least 35 percent of its students receive free/reduced breakfast and/or lunch. Chestatee is at 49 percent, Schwartz said.

“They will need to learn, before we go, about appropriate behavior in a public place that isn’t school,” she said. “For some, this might give them the spark to pursue more education in the future or give them a goal to work toward.”