Monday, January 26, 2009

Fayette County Teacher’s Dog Attends Inauguration

Sixth grade social studies teacher Cindy Smith poses with Ike’s photo in front of the Washington Monument after the presidential inauguration.

Ike the dog has traveled with Fayette students and teachers to many exciting places over the years. He has toured Japan, sat on the beaches in Hawaii, flown on a charted flight with the New Orleans Saints football team and most recently made history attending the presidential inauguration.

Although Ike has not personally traveled to these places, his picture has. It is all part of a project created by J.C. Booth Middle social studies teacher Denise Anderson to encourage students to experience and explore geography first-hand. It started three years ago when her students asked if they could do something for extra credit.

“I had heard of elementary schools doing the Flat Stanley project so I decided to let students take Ike on a trip and then write about it,” says Anderson.

Students must get their picture made with Ike and submit a 3X5 index card with information about their trip. They are allowed to take Ike on a trip once every nine weeks throughout the school year.

Recently, Ike’s picture traveled to Washington, D.C. with Cindy Smith, a sixth grade social studies teacher at Booth, for the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States. He and Smith stood at the Washington Monument to watch the swearing in ceremony.

“When I learned that she would be attending the inauguration, I asked if she would take Ike. I knew that this was going to be a day that would be recorded in history,” Anderson says.

Not only did Ike witness history in the making, but he also participated at a military in-service day at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Smith, her husband, who is retired from the military, and their two daughters signed up to volunteer at “A Day of Service for Our Military.” Volunteers worked in one-hour shifts assembling care packages consisting of lip balm, snack foods and personal hygiene items.

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