Education

11,000 CMS students uptown this week for field trips that almost didn’t happen

After field trips for nearly 22,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools narrowly escaped the chopping block, busloads of fifth-graders made a field trip to the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center to listen to the Charlotte Symphony and Opera Carolina and watch dancers from the Charlotte Ballet on Tuesday March 3, 2015. This week, more than 11,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools fifth-grade students will experience “Endless Possibilities,” a performance tailored for 10- and 11-year-olds.
After field trips for nearly 22,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools narrowly escaped the chopping block, busloads of fifth-graders made a field trip to the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center to listen to the Charlotte Symphony and Opera Carolina and watch dancers from the Charlotte Ballet on Tuesday March 3, 2015. This week, more than 11,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools fifth-grade students will experience “Endless Possibilities,” a performance tailored for 10- and 11-year-olds. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

More than 11,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools fifth-grade students will get a taste of opera and ballet at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center uptown this week – field trips that almost didn’t happen.

Last summer, the Arts & Science Council said it would have to stop funding cultural and historical field trips for 22,000 students after a dip in donations. The nonprofit started paying for the trips in 2009 as budget cuts forced CMS to stop funding them itself.

Howard Levine, CEO of Family Dollar, ponied up $100,000 to keep the field trips on schedule. Besides the Blumenthal trips, third-graders visit Historic Latta Plantation, Historic Rosedale, Rural Hill, Charlotte Museum of History and the James K. Polk State Historic Site.

This week, the fifth-graders will get a special 45-minute performance that blends the art of Opera Carolina, Charlotte Ballet and the Charlotte Symphony.

Dunn: 704-358-5235;

Twitter: @andrew_dunn

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