Story and photos by Robin Elisabeth Kilmer
The WHEELS were turning – and they would not be deterred.
This past Fri., Dec. 13th, the students of the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) marched out on the street, yelling and screaming.
But there was no protest to be heard.
Instead, the noise was an expression of exultation – and anticipation.
Friday was the school’s Third Annual College Application March from the WHEELS’ school building at 511 West 182nd Street to the local post office, the Sgt. Riayan A. Tejada Post Office (named for a local Marine hero killed in Iraq in 2003) to drop off college applications.
The march is a whole-school and whole-community tradition; younger students line the street with hand-made signs, and shout chants of encouragement as the seniors make their way forward. Elected officials, school faculty, and volunteers from Capital One, a long-time partner of WHEELS, also join in.