Students experience the capital “Close Up”


Year after year, Decatur teacher Chris Billingsley has traveled to Washington, DC with students to participate in the Close Up program. The mission of Close Up is: “Close Up informs, inspires, and empowers students to exercise the rights and accept the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy.” This year was his last. Billingsley and about 27 students made the trip to DC to see their government in action. Activities on the trip were based around those core concepts of Close Up’s mission. Highlights included meeting with the staffers of Congressmen, visiting historical monuments such as the Vietnam and Korea monuments, and even going inside the White House. The group participated in Close Up activities such as a mock congress, hearing a liberal debate a conservative, and exploring areas of DC. For the last two days, Billingsley led the group. On Thursday, the students visited Mount Vernon, and on Friday the group laid a wreath dedicated to Decatur students that died in the Korean war. A White House tour capped off the day before they headed back to the airport to return to Atlanta.