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Up close with the Beast of the East

Approximately 40 students from the functional academics classes at G.W. Carver, Indian Spring, Cesar Chavez and Tennyson middle schools got the chance to see the “Beast of the East” up close and personal Friday.

As part of a grant from the Waco ISD Education Foundation, these students served in the district’s special education program have been given the opportunity to take several field trips throughout the year to expand their experiences in the community. These experiences not only help meet curriculum goals, but also help ensure students are working on both their content-based and functional skills and toward their individual goals.

Their first trip of the year was a visit to Waco Fire Department Station 1 in East Waco, nicknamed the “Beast of the East.” Students were given a tour of the facilities, including lessons in the daily life of a firefighter on duty. It’s no surprise that the highlight of the visit came with a tour of the station bay, complete with an explanation and display of the trucks, boat and on-board equipment; opportunities to climb onto and inside the trucks; and even a brief demonstration of the trucks’ lights and sirens.

Rebekah Raabe, functional academics teacher at Tennyson Middle School and WISD Education Foundation grant writer and recipient, plans to use the trips as a way to extend the learning and make content-area connections that enrich students’ academic knowledge and help them gain valuable, real-world, functional skills.

Future adventures for the functional academics students include trips to Cameron Park Zoo and various museums in the Waco area and beyond.

Thank you to Waco Fire Department Station 1 for opening their doors and trucks to the students. They walked away with firefighter hats, books, big smiles and an experience they’ll never forget.

 Firefighters with students

Firefighters with students

Firefighter with students

Students on firetruck