1,800 East Tennessee students leave on Safety Patrol trip

1,800 East Tennessee students leave on Safety Patrol trip to Washington, D.C.

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Participants from 70 schools across the region left Chilhowee Park on 39 motor coaches. Participants from 70 schools across the region left Chilhowee Park on 39 motor coaches.
"I want to go to the Lincoln Memorial to see his statue and what's on his plaque," said Lillian Holston. "I want to go to the Lincoln Memorial to see his statue and what's on his plaque," said Lillian Holston.
"I'm sad because it's her first time away from me," said Jennifer Wise said of her daughter. "I'm sad because it's her first time away from me," said Jennifer Wise said of her daughter.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - More than 1,800 East Tennessee students left for the nations' capitol Friday morning for AAA Tennessee's 57th annual Safety Patrol trip.

Lillian Holston is one of the 1,800 students going on the trip. She's excited to go to our nation's capital.

"I want to go to the Lincoln Memorial to see his statue and what's on his plaque," said Lillian.

Participants from 70 schools across the region left Chilhowee Park Friday morning at 7 on 39 motor coaches, set to enjoy four days in Washington, D.C. The trip includes tours of the U. S. Capitol, Mt. Vernon, the Smithsonian, the National Zoo, and the Jefferson Memorial.

They will also be welcomed by Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr., and will get to sit in the seats normally occupied by members of the House of Representatives.

The elementary and middle school students volunteer for safety patrols in their schools by helping improve the safety of their fellow students in traffic through direct assistance, educational activities, and by setting good examples.

Students were chosen by their teachers for their outstanding merit in school, as well as fulfilling their duties of coming to school early and staying late to help fellow students be safe.

AAA Tennessee sponsors and implements the safety patrol programs in the schools. The annual four-day Washington D.C. trip is a reward for the students.

"They have to have good grades to get into the program and they also help the younger students in and out of vehicles typically be safe and be leaders in their school," said AAA Tennessee spokesperson Stephanie Milani.

For many of these parents it's a bittersweet moment as their kids load up on the motor coaches and head off to Washington D.C., because for many of the kids it's their first time ever being away from home.

Jennifer Wise had a hard time seeing her daughter off.

"I'm sad because it's her first time away from me," said Jennifer Wise.

As the 39 motor coaches hit the road, students and families waved goodbye and despite some sadness, Wise knows it's a fun, educational trip the kids will remember forever.

"I'm excited and I know they're going to have fun," said Wise.

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