Leadership, Community join to kick off CAF Red Tail Squadron’s tribute to Tuskegee Airmen
Learning went to a whole new height at George Melcher Elementary School this week. Melcher Elementary, Kansas City Public School (KCPS) leadership, community partners and Kansas City leadership, together with the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron kicked off its unique traveling exhibit “Rise Above” Wednesday, April 19.
“We all need heroes. The people who were part of this unit define the word ‘hero’,” KCPS Superintendent Mark Bedell said. “They fought because they believed in the promise of this nation. They fought so no one could claim they had not earned the right for equality.”
This unique program brings the inspirational history of the Tuskegee Airmen alive and out of textbooks. “Rise Above” is a unique way for students to experience the inspiring story of America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. More than just a history lesson, the educational outreach program was developed to inspire students and help them understand they have the opportunity to dream big dreams.
“Students are immersed into the history and program as part of the overall experience,” CAF Vice President of Education Bill Shepard said. “It gives kids permission to dream and dream big. It helps them realize they have potential, they can succeed. We want kids to realize they have the choice to be successful.”
“We appreciate the opportunity to share this exhibit with our students,” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Anthony Lewis said. “We want our students to know what’s possible and understand success can happen if they try.”
The CAF Red Tail Squadron’s visit to Melcher Elementary was made possible by several community partners including Trice Education Resources, Inc., Bob Sight, Inc. Dealership and Adams Point Conference Center. The organization of the event was made possible through a partnership with Friendship Baptist Church’s Adopt-A-School Ministry.
“As a product of Kansas City Public Schools, I know how important community partners are in our students’ success,” Councilman 3rd District Jermaine Reed said. “Many people helped me along the way to success; it took a community. Thank you to all of our partners for helping our children succeed.”
“Our partnership with Melcher Elementary is very important to our organization,” Friendship Baptist Church Minister Leatrianna England said. “It takes bravery for our students to be different, to stand up, recognize they are equally as important and deserve to find their own success.”