CONWAY — Students and staff at John H. Fuller Elementary School recently were treated to a field trip they won’t soon forget.
Thanks to the generosity of benefactors that included Walmart and the Conway Scenic Railroad, on Sept. 6, the 225-plus Falcons got to board a special CSR train right outside their school in Whitaker Woods.
The train then traveled down the tracks on the old Maine Central Mountain Division tracks to Redstone, past Conway Police Station and Macdonald Motors before turning around, switching tracks and returning to the Conway Scenic Railroad train station in North Conway.
As Danielle Nutting, principal of John Fuller, told the Conway School Board at their Sept. 9 meeting: “While many of our students may have had that opportunity (to ride with the Conway Scenic Railroad) in their private lives already, many, many did not.
"Not only that," she added, "it did not just pick us up at the Conway Scenic Railroad (station), it picked us up in Whitaker Woods (adjacent to the school),” Nutting enthused.
“If you followed us on Facebook, we did a Facebook live, and many people were commenting on the shrieks as the train was coming down the tracks,” she added.
“The train brought us down the tracks that they don’t use regularly," Nutting said, and the trip started a little later than planned because workers had to remove a tree that had fallen across the tracks.
"Our students, all the way from kindergartners to our 12-year-old sixth-graders, were all excited to get on that train, as well as our staff,” she said.
Upon returning to North Conway, students and staff enjoyed a picnic lunch in Schouler Park before walking back to school.
“Our adventure was made possible by the generosity and the idea of Conway Scenic Railroad,” Nutting told the board.
“There were also generous donations provided by the John H. Fuller Elementary Student Council ($500) and North Conway Walmart ($1,000).
"Conway Scenic Railroad also donated a tremendous amount of time and resources.
"We really want to thank everyone that made this all possible," Nutting said. "It was a fantastic morning.
She added: “This community-building field trip was a super kick-off to the 2019-20 school year.”
John Fuller will hold its annual parent open house Sept. 26 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.