DORSET - Long Trail School announces a grant from the Charles Gamper Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation to help the school to launch its Excursion Program. The program has been designed to send the school's entire tenth grade on an international trip, and the substantial foundation grant reinforces the school's budgeted commitment to the 10th grade's international experience at a key time in the students' lives and in their high school curriculum.

"The generosity of the Vermont Community Foundation, along with the recent gifts of other thoughtful donors, allows us to deliver on our promise to expand the horizons of Long Trail students," commented Interim Head of School Steven Dear. "Rarely can a school come through with such extraordinary experiential learning, and we are grateful for this opportunity. We feel obliged in this global society to educate students through travel like this. Going forward, we intend to have this experience available for every 10th grader here."

The inaugural Excursion Program trip will be part of an exchange just created with the Freie Schule Anne Sophie in Kunzelsau, Germany, near Stuttgart. Twenty-four German students from the school will visit Long Trail in February, and all 22 Long Trail sophomores will visit their German peers in April. Before heading abroad in the spring, the Long Trail travelers will learn utilitarian German, as well as participate in seminars to explore the socio-economic and historical factors that have made Germany a pivotal economic power today. They will be readied for a journey that will include stays in German households, a cultural tour of Stuttgart and beyond, and project learning at the Freie Schule with peers. Germany is the program's first destination, but Long Trail is working with partner schools in Spain and France, as well as a sister school in China, to expand Excursion offerings.

Program co-coordinators Courtney Callo, Long Trail Admissions Director, and Daniela Stewart, Long Trail Spanish teacher and recent transplant from the school in Kunzelsau with which Long Trail has the exchange, can attest to the power of travel in high school.