SAA Students Visit Capitol

Students in front of CapitolBy Edwin Garcia

Mrs. Jackson’s 3rd and 4th graders experienced an amazing field trip to the State Capitol where they learned behind-the-scenes details about California history, toured a private room used by the governor, and met their pen pals from Napa Christian.

The Nov. 13 outing began at the Esquire IMAX Theatre in downtown Sacramento where students finally met the pen pals from Napa with whom they had been corresponding for months.

The SAA students sat with their new friends during an action-packed movie called Adventures in Wild California, which featured up-close scenes of acrobatic skydivers, botanists in a 30-story-tall Giant Sequoia, surfers riding Mavericks waves – and other vivid images that are unique to California.

The group of more than 60 students, parents and teachers then headed to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Capitol Park where Mrs. Jackson explained the significance of the Vietnam War.

From lunch and time in the park and into the Capitol building, students learned some impressive details: The Capitol took 14 years to build; workers sitting at desks in the Treasurer’s Office used to spit tobacco into special bowls on the floor; columns were built in both Greek and Roman style; each of the 660,000 tiny pieces of floor tile near the Senate Chambers was once removed and cleaned individually.

For many students, the most memorable part of the field trip was the visit to Room 1190, where every governor since Ronald Reagan has hosted news conferences. Students were led into the private room by Gov. Jerry Brown’s press secretary, Gil Duran, who used to be a coworker of SAA parent Edwin Garcia (father of third-grader EJ), when both were reporters at the San Jose Mercury News.

 Several students took turns playing politician at the governor’s podium and its blue cloth backdrop that is commonly seen on television. All the students sat in the chairs that are reserved for journalists.

 “It was cool,” said Riley, 9, “It was fun to be there – you see it on the news a lot.”

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