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Hartselle student to tour Europe with People to People

By Emily Peck 340-2442

Wish you were spending your summer vacation touring the major cities of Europe? Then you'd be jealous of eighth-grader Alex Petty, a student at Hartselle Junior High School. Petty will soon embark on a three-week trip across Europe as an ambassador for People to People Organization. Petty was chosen to be one of 42 students from across North Alabama after being nominated by sixth-grade teachers Mitsie Whitley and Sherry Echols.

As a participant in People to People, Petty joins thousands of students who have worked to advance the spirit of global community over the past 50 years. In 1956, the organization was established by President Eisenhower, who believed that communication was the key to peace. People to People allows students to promote this sense of international understanding.

The tour will take students through England, France, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. In England, the group will tour Buckingham Palace, ride the London Eye and meet with a member of Parliament. Students will visit Normandy Beach, the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral in France. The ambassadors will then make a stop at a chocolate factory in Belgium before taking a scenic train ride through the Swiss Alps. Anne Frank's house is among the sites visited in the Netherlands, and in Germany, students will take a canal cruise down the Rhine.

Petty says he is most excited about the three-day homestay in Germany, where he will get a chance to experience German family life firsthand. Petty is looking forward to this portion of the trip seeing it as a once-in a-lifetime experience. "I'll never get to do that again, even if I do go back to Europe," he said. Petty leaves on his adventure Saturday.

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