Founded in 1971, Close Up is a non-profit that educates and inspires young people to become informed and engaged citizens. Using the nation’s capital as a living classroom, students get a “close up” view of government and democracy in action as they interact with the people, places, and processes that make this federal city so unique. Over 850,000 students and educators have experienced Washington, DC with Close Up, and countless more have participated on our TV shows and used our textbook Current Issues to debate hot-button issues in classrooms nationwide.

The Close Up student experience is enhanced by our interactive approach to educating high school students. Close Up is not just a tour, nor is it a series of lectures. Close Up takes what students learn in the classroom and brings it to life! Close Up really does make learning fun!

Throughout the week, students explore DC and interact with students from all across the country. With the help of our program instructors, students will consider how the people and events represented in DC’s memorials impact their lives today. As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, Close Up helps students learn more about their history and government while considering a variety of viewpoints. This keeps students interested, informed, and engaged. They are not just passively listening to a tour guide—they are making a personal connection with the famous places of the nation’s capital.

Close Up participants also take part in interactive seminars with Washington insiders, including journalists, lobbyists, ambassadors, and members of the Armed Services. The highlight of the week for many students is our mid-week Capitol Hill Day, when students and teachers meet with their Congressional delegation on the Hill.

All Close Up activities are designed with your student’s safety in mind. We have night monitors in place at each hotel throughout the evening, instructors trained in First Aid and CPR, and specialized access to Georgetown Medical Center in the event of an emergency. With over 40 years of experience, we make every effort to ensure that Close Up students have the safest, most enjoyable, and most memorable experience possible in Washington, DC.

To enroll your child in a Close Up program, simply contact your school’s Close Up teacher. If your school does not have a Close Up teacher, just contact us or refer a teacher today!

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"Every year when we return from Close Up the students bring their enthusiasm for discussion and interaction with others to my classes. It stimulates the other students to get involved."

   – Ray, Teacher, LA
Educating for democracy since 1971