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Students to explore history through Internet voyage

A traveling team of educators will keep kids up-to-date on their travels.

Not all of Linda Jordan's students at Community Christian School are psyched about history. But they may change their minds after taking a trip around the country via the Internet.

On Friday, two members of US Trek, a non-profit educational venture, visited Jordan's classroom to explain their historical adventure. The educators, Rebecca Kroll and Neda Farzan, along with six other team members will travel the country visiting historical sites. Equipped with laptop computers and digital cameras, they will relay their experiences to students throughout the country, including students at Community Christian.

US Trek is sponsored by The Odyssey, a non-profit organization whose aim is to foster global awareness in young people, that was launched by a San Francisco high school teacher in 1997.

"Who here doesn't like history?" Kroll asked Jordan's sixth-grade class Friday.

Several students raised their hands.

"We want to make history the most exciting thing you ever read about," Kroll said.

Over the past eight days, the two women made a cross-country trip from San Francisco. Along the way they documented their adventures just in time to head off to the next destination. They say they often sleep in their cars or in a tent or private homes because they each have only $15 a day.

Kroll and Farzan told the students about some of the sites they plan to visit, including St. Augustine on Florida's east coast, the oldest city in the nation. They plan on visiting other Florida sites before heading north, where they will meet up with other group members.

They'll end their trip in May.

In the meantime, students at Community Christian will keep up with the US Trek team via the Internet. This is the first year the school had Internet access.

Jordan took a computer course over the summer, when she learned about the US Trek project.

"I teach U.S. history. I just needed it to be more alive to the kids," she said.

She said she always gets excited visiting historical sites. She is certain her students will feel the same way as they follow the team this year.

Student Chase Karner, 11, said someday, he'd like to do what US Trek team members are doing. "You learn more, and you get to meet new people and see how other people in other states live," he said.

Anyone can keep tabs on the US Trek team by logging in to http://www.ustrek.org.

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