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Buddy Up Program and Trips for Ithaca!

A very special part of the Ithaca Program is the Buddy Up component. Classes from different schools that feed to the same middle school go on trips together. The goal is for children from different neighborhoods to get to know others from different geographic and cultural parts of our district so when they meet in middle school there is more understanding, respect and connection.   

We encourage you to have students write friendly letters, Skype etc. to connect students before their trips. Here's a link for fun ways to Connect Buddies!


Some teachers share STEM challenges either on a buddy up trip or virtually!

To encourage classrooms to continue the partnerships created for KDT! trips, funds are available for additional activities/trips. The goal is to strengthen the social component of the original trip by planning additional opportunities for students from partnered classes to connect.

You may go on an additional field trip with your partner class! You may take the trip before or after your traditional KDT! trip.

Funding has increased and now $150 is available and the bus is paid for by the program. 

How to take a Buddy Up Trip!
You must

  • Joe Volpe, with the approval of an ICSD administrator, will respond to the application with directions and funding levels.

  • You must wait for approval to go on your trip.

  • Please make sure that on your field trip request form that you clearly mark this as a KDT! trip.

  • QUESTIONS? Contact Joe Volpe

Some teachers have….

  • Visited their partner teacher's school and used the engaging ideas on the Grade Level Information Pages

  • Made T shirts for classes to wear on their trips

  • Gone to the Ithaca Children's Garden you can either visit for free or ask for a guided tour (fee charged)

  • Hiked a local park. Taughannock has been a favorite, as there is a playground and a great hike!

  • Enjoyed working outdoors at the Youth Farm

  • Gone sledding

  • Made pizzas

  • Gone to other Discovery Trail Sites

  • Met prior to their trips to make props for their trip (ie making lunch boxes in preparation for the History Center trip)

  • Fourth graders have gone to the Bement-Billings Farmstead! 

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