An annual multiday trip to Washington, D.C., is a given for fifth-grade students at many Lexington elementary schools.
Their parents raise money or pay out of pocket to get $400 to $600 per child for the trip.
But that's not the case for Mary Todd Elementary School.
A tentative activity fund budget approved by the Fayette County school board for the 2015-16 school year shows that, at about $16,000, Mary Todd has the lowest anticipated activity-fund revenue of any school.
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Revenue in activity funds comes in part from parents and student fundraising and donations.
Some other schools with more affluent families have anticipated revenues of more than $300,000 for 2015-16. Most schools are anticipating revenues of at least the $43,000 that Mary Todd officials are trying to raise in the community for the trip.
"When you see the disparities between the schools, it is so not fair that these kids are missing out on some things that could really change their world," said child guidance specialist Terry Watson.
Some of the students have not been to the opposite side of Lexington, much less out of state, school officials have said.
In hopes they can raise enough money to take 68 students and 10 chaperones to Washington on a bus for a two-night hotel stay, school officials have made reservations, said Mary Todd Administrative Dean Jennifer Bell.
But Bell and Watson said without donations, it will be almost impossible to take the trip because of the economic situations of the families the school serves.
Ninety percent are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
"A lot of those families are just struggling to put food on the table and get their kids clothes and school supplies," Watson said.
Aside from the academic material learned in Washington, also embedded in the trip will be lessons on terrain, and about the states the bus travels through to get to D.C.
Teacher Erin Spring said she thinks $1,000 has been raised so far. Students are going to open a store at the school to raise money, and parents will be asked to give a nominal amount if they can.
Robert Edwards and his son Gabriel, who will be in fifth grade this fall, just heard details about the trip last week.
"My son has never been there," Edwards said. "I think it would be a great opportunity for them."
Gabriel Edwards said he wants to see the White House.
"I think it will be a lot of fun," Gabriel said.
In addition to the money for the trip, Bell said some of the children — maybe several — will need luggage. They also could use T-shirts for the trip, backpacks and water bottles.
Bell said she hopes the promise that the trip would hold for students "speaks to somebody's heart."