Washington, D.C., is a popular spot for vacations and school trips due to its historical importance, unique culture, and unmistakable landmarks. Staff and residents of the Phoenix House Group Home in Terryville, CT, recently ventured to Washington, D.C., in search of education, relaxation, and a little adventure! Child Development Specialist Jen Huston and Supervisor Christina Gibson traveled to D.C. with three of the group home’s resident adolescent girls who had never been there before. The girls were excited and enthusiastic about the trip and did not know what to expect of the capital city.
Throughout the three-day trip, the girls learned the area in and around the capital city. Christina and Jen embedded a variety of useful life-skills lessons into the fun activities throughout the city. Some of these included learning and traveling on the metro system to get to the different historical locations around the capital, checking in and out of a hotel, packing the necessary items for traveling out of state, important money management skills, and traveling safely. The girls traveled with staff to popular local sites such as the Museum of Natural History, three senate buildings and the Capitol building and took in a great deal of information about these places as well as the city as a whole.
A meeting was arranged by Klingberg Family Centers’ president, Dr. Steve Girelli, to meet Senator Chris Murphy while the group was in Washington. The girls were excited and anxious to meet Senator Murphy and were welcomed with open arms by his office staff. In the true spirit of the Klingberg mission, Christina and Jen encouraged the girls to build a positive relationship with the Senator in the short amount of time that they had with him. The girls were respectful and passionate when discussing a variety of topics with Senator Murphy including education, art, and history as well as some local projects that he is working on in Connecticut. From there, Senator Murphy generously arranged for a tour to be given to the group by one of his interns, Lucy, who provided a wealth of knowledge about the Capitol and senate buildings to the staff and girls.
Christina and Jen, like all Klingberg staff, share a passion for providing all children with opportunities to build positive experiences and relationships in their lives. This trip to Washington, D.C., did just that for these adolescents. Not only did they have the opportunity to visit the national’s capitol, but they also were provided an opportunity to strengthen their own relationships with their peers and staff: a priceless experience.