"We thought it would be great if our kids could communicate," Tubbs said. "So, we started a pen pal program."
Then, three years ago, students from Sanford Middle School and Castle High School in suburban Honolulu attended the annual CFES conference, making a side trip to Ticonderoga to meet their pen pals.
Soon students from Ti and Hawaii were instant messaging and eventually started video conferencing. The next step became obvious; Ti students would make the trip to visit their friends in Hawaii.
The $6,000 trip was funded through CFES and student fundraising activities, Tubbs said. That meant only five of the 35 students in Ticonderoga's eighth grade could make the trip, so Ti school officials decided to hold an essay contest to select the lucky students.
Ticonderoga Middle School is the first mainland school in CFES to make the Hawaii trip.
While visiting Ticonderoga, Hawaii students got a look at American history. They visited Fort Ticonderoga and other local museums March 16. That night the school hosted a reception for the visitors at 5:30 p.m.
The Hawaiian students were joined by Ti Middle School eighth graders March 17 for a tour of Castleton State (Vt.) , as part of the CFES Pathways to College program. After returning to Ticonderoga, the students toured the local International Paper Co. mill.
On March 18 the Hawaiian group visit ed Willsboro Central School and saw Ausable Chasm. That night they were the guests at an Adirondack CFESdinner in Essex.
The visit concluded March 19 with a visit to Lake Placid and a tour of Olympic venues.
College For Every Student is a non-profit organization committed to raising the academic aspirations and performance of under-served youth so that they can prepare for, gain access to and succeed in college.