Nearly three dozen eastern Iowa students left this weekend, bound for Great Britian and France despite last week’s terrorist bombings. The group is part of the “People to People” student ambassador program, and organizers say the Iowa kids will be staying in a hotel that is outside of the London city limits, and will not use public transportation like buses or the subway. Tyler Zahner, one of the 34 kids on the trip, spoke with K-C-R-G television at the Cedar Rapids airport before he left. “I’m pretty excited, kind of nervous, but I think I’ll be all right,” Zahner said. “Not many kids get to go clear (overseas) at (the age of) 12. It’s kind of a big opportunity. I mean, a lot of grandparents haven’t even gone overseas.” Tyler’s dad, Tim Zahner, says the group’s leaders have assured them the kids will be safe.”We’re trusting them with our children,” Tim Zahner says. “They know what they’re doing. They’ve taken a lot of extra security measures.” Tyler’s mom, Ronda Zahner, says the “People to People” program has a long track record of success.She can call a toll-free number at any time, day or night, to check with the group about her son’s whereabouts. “I feel pretty comfortable with it. I think they’ll take care of him,” Ronda Zahner says. The People to People student ambassador program was established about 60 years ago by President Dwight Eisenhower. It gives grade school, junior high and high school students an opportunity to learn about history, government and culture through trips to foreign destinations as well as trips within the U.S. Tyler and the rest of the eastern Iowa kids are set to return from Europe on July 23rd. You can learn more about the program on-line at www.studentambassadors.org.
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