When, as a child, teacher Robert Marx visited a bar in England featured in a Charles Dickens novel, his mind was "literally blown."
This passion for literature and its real-life places and inspirational settings led Marx to suggest a new travel abroad program for BHS juniors and seniors – a 10-day trip to England approved earlier this week by the School Committee.
Fitting into the alternating year for Braintree High Spanish and French travel programs, "Bringing Literature to Life" will complement the English curriculum for grade 11 and 12 students by weaving works they have read and discussed in class with stops at the Globe Theatre, the Bronte Parsonage Museum, Shakespeare's birthplace and other sites of classic literature and performance.
"It brought everything to life," committee member Pam Kiley said, when she made a similar trip while studying English in college.
Marx and Rebecca Fredericks, director of the English Department, presented the trip to the committee on Monday night and it was unanimously approved. The plan is for up to 43 students, with one chaperone per six students, to depart Braintree High on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 and return on Friday, April 19.
To participate, students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing and have recommendations from teachers. The cost will be approximately $2,869 per student, thought that could vary slightly as the trip gets closer, Fredericks said. It includes airfare, breakfast, dinner, lodging, program fees and insurance. The cost also covers the price for chaperones.
Students and chaperones will arrive in Manchester, England and make their way through the Lake District, Yorkshire, the Stratford and Bath regions and finish up in London for three days. The tour company is EF Educational Tours, which Fredericks said has worked recently with Weymouth and Hingham schools.
Committee Chair Shannon Hume said she was pleased that travel abroad will be broadened to additional students. "This is a wonderful opportunity," she said.