By Nettie Breuner and Chris Samuels contributors

Ophir School’s eigth grade class is headed to Washington D.C. in May of 2012. This is an annual educational trip that has been part of the Ophir experience for over a decade. Ophir kids prepare for their trip all year long, studying art, history and literature related to the sites that they visit. This year, we are hoping to also attend an evening Shakespeare performance.

As part of the “Destination DC” class, eigth graders work to fund most of their own trip. They learn the importance of business, community, and school partnerships, as well as working toward a common goal. Generous donations from Ophir School Council (OSC) and the Gallatin Canyon Women’s Club also help support the trip. You may hear the term “eighth Grade for Hire” which refers to the eighth grade students fundraising efforts by working various jobs throughout the community, such as Town Center events, pet sitting, baby sitting, ski buddies, snow shoveling and working at private parties.

“Tips for Trips” was conceived of as a way of having students work in a real life, small business setting. Area restaurants generously donate all tips collected in a night in exchange for eighth graders bussing tables. Past restaurants who have supported the eighth grade efforts have been Choppers, La Luna, Lone Peak Brewery, the Corral, Sliders and the Half Moon Restaurant. Please consider joining the eighth graders for their first “Tips for Trips” being held at Lone Peak Brewery on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.

Fundraising efforts are in full swing. This year the eighth grade students are also taking orders for Schwann’s Frozen Foods, with a percentage of each order being donated to the class. If you are interested in purchasing Schwann’s Frozen Foods in support of this eighth grade class, and you do not have an eighth grader contact you directly, please contact Diane Bartzick at (406) 995-2395 or to place an order. Orders will be delivered to Ophir School on December 7th. Thank you for your support!