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Woodward 5th grader part of upcoming DC forum
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Karisa Rubio meets with her current fifth-grade teacher Yolanda Lopez to talk about her involvement in the upcoming People to People World Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin

Karisa Rubio will have a chance to learn about history and other subject areas.

A fifth-grade student, she was among a handful of select youngsters from Woodward School bound for the People to People World Leadership Forum.

Rubio, however, will be the first of the elite group nominated by fourth-grade teacher Christina Frederick, who served as the Gifted And Talented Education coordinator for several years, to go to the Washington D.C. event.

She’s scheduled to attend the conference on Sept. 21-26.

Besides Capitol Hill, Rubio will have a chance to visit the Smithsonian Institution, Gettysburg National Military Park and the International Spy Museum, to name a few.

“She’s really excited about going,” said her mother, Julie Rubio. “It’s a wonderful experience for her.”

The family held a series of fundraisers to make the trip possible. In addition, various organizations including the Manteca Junior Women’s Club and private donors pitched in to sponsor the local youngster.

 “I’m looking forward to learning more stuff and having fun,” said Karisa Rubio, who was selected on her outstanding scholastic merit, civic involvement and leadership potential.

As a forum delegate, she will also have an opportunity to participate in small-group discussions.

Frederick is proud of those students who will be attending the upcoming People to People events.

“I think it’s wonderful,” she said. “We have great parents who are willing to go that extra mile.”

Rubio’s current teacher, Yolanda Lopez, is also thrilled.

“I also had (Karisa) in second grade. I watched her grow,” she said.

In order to keep Rubio from falling behind in school during that week, Lopez has plans of providing the youngster with a homework packet.

Rubio, in turn, could share her Washington, D.C. experience with her classmates as extra credit work, according to Lopez.

The program was coordinated by People to People Leadership Programs in an effort to fulfill the vision of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. His hope was to foster world citizenship when the organization was founded during his presidency in 1956.

To reach reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail