Wright Flight leads students in right direction

Published 1:28 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

By Staff
Their anticipation before and their smiles after said it all.
About 60 fifth-grade students from six classes at John Small Elementary School in Washington were rewarded Saturday with flights taking off from and landing at Warren Field Airport. The flights were rewards for the students meeting academic and/or behavioral goals and earning at least an 85 on a test about aviation history.
The Wright Flight program is more than just rewarding good behavior or good performance in the classroom. It’s about teaching children that they can accomplish much by setting goals and working hard to achieve those goals. Students learn that lesson by studying aviation pioneers such as Orville and Wilbur Wright, who set goals, worked hard to meet those goals and overcame obstacles to write their names in the history books.
At the center of the Wright Flight program is the contract a child signs. As part of the contract, the child sets a goal and lists what must be done to achieve that goal, which should be challenging. The program’s preferred goal is to raise a grade in school, say from a C to a B in science or a B to an A in English. Parents are encouraged to assist their children in reaching their goals.
Part of the Wright Flight program calls for students to abstain from using drugs, tobacco and alcohol. The program also provides students a second chance if they don’t meet their goals the first time around. That second chance comes during the next grading period.
Many Wright Flight participants are minority or disadvantaged children who probably never would have opportunities to fly in an airplane. The program shows them there are many doors that will open for them, if they work hard and set their minds to achieving the goals they set for themselves.
Young students are an integral part of Wright Flight, but so are the program’s coordinators and volunteer pilots. Without them, those smiles seen on students’ faces after they’ve been flying would not be there. Their contributions to the program cannot be overlooked.
Wright Flight provides more than lessons about aviation, it provides lessons for life. When it comes to supporting Wright Flight, it’s the right thing to do.