Updated: July 20, 2023

Since 1971, the non-profit, non-partisan Close Up Foundation has been a trusted civic education provider with the safety and security of students and teachers being a top priority. The unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic has forced us to rethink and retool the way we serve students and teachers, as Close Up’s mission to help young people become active and engaged citizens remains as important as ever.

Here is how we are supporting students, teachers, and parents through experiential travel programs, virtual learning opportunities, and professional development:

Travel Programs: Close Up currently serves thousands of students and teachers on our Washington, DC, programs safely each year. We continue to monitor the guidance of health and government officials and are doing the following to help prepare for programs and keep participants safe:

  • Working with our travel and medical partners to develop enhanced cleaning and safety protocols;
  • Collaborating and communicating with our teacher and parent coordinators to keep them apprised of all changes or updates to their program;
  • Monitoring vaccination requirements of local jurisdictions and making necessary adjustments to ensure a safe and robust program experience.  There are no current vaccination requirements that impact program curriculum including study visits to the monuments, memorials and Smithsonians;
  • Masks are recommended, but not required for all Close Up participants and staff. Participants must follow local or venue mask requirements. Close Up will provide masks to participants, if desired. Any changes to this policy will be made in accordance with local, state, and federal guidance and other best practices and will be communicated to Close Up Trip Coordinators as well as posted on Close Up’s website;
  • Providing flexibility for program planning. Please contact info@closeup.org or your Close Up Representative for more information on program cancellation policies; and
  • Offering travel insurance through Travel Guard International to protect against delays, flight cancellations, and other travel-related issues, including illness that may prevent passengers from traveling.

If you do not have a Close Up program scheduled yet for the 2023-2024 school year, there is still time! Each year, we partner with teachers, parents, and youth organizations to welcome students to the nation’s capital. If you would like to organize a trip to Washington, DC, for your students or child please contact us today at 800.CLOSEUP or info@closeup.org!

Virtual Learning: In addition to our travel programs, Close Up is excited to offer a variety of virtual learning experiences for students. Led by Close Up’s experienced curriculum team, these opportunities are designed to help students gain the confidence to discuss important issues, learn how to engage in respectful civic discourse, and work together to build consensus and connections to their communities and the world around them.

Professional Development:  Close Up is able to bring its proven methodology into the classroom through professional development options for teachers as well. Our innovative PD sessions help educators navigate challenging conversations about social and political issues. Each PD includes ready-to-use lesson plans, activities, and digital resources designed to promote thoughtful discourse, critical thinking, and engagement with multiple perspectives on issues.