My hubby, Robin, has a birthday wish for the kids at Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum that is so awesome! I serve alongside him in the name of Jesus to help kids with their homework, learn about careers in aviation and aerospace, and understand the link between aviation and science, engineering, and math so that they can graduate high school and become leaders in their community. Our family is so blessed to build relationships with so many kids in this community. You can read more about our cause in Robin's letter below.
Will you please join us by donating, volunteering, or praying for us?
Robin Petgrave wrote -
This month, I am turning 51, and my challenge is to raise $51,000 so that TAM can increase its impact in the community with the launch of a Commercial Space Prep Summer Camp in a few months.Here's why I am celebrating a "Birthday Beyond Earth" this year, and I hope that you will join me:
In 1992, I landed a helicopter at 92nd Street Elementary School for a career day visit and later called the Program Postive Vibrations to help motivate youth through my story of growing up as a poor boy in Jamaica to becoming a helicopter stunt pilot with my own business.
In 1998, I was inspired by the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and founded a non profit called Torrance Aeronautical Museum sponsoring Aviation Explorer Post 409 to help kids after school learn more about aviation and encourage the next generation of history makers, hence TAM's motto: Tomorrow's History Today.
In 2001, some volunteers and I organized our first Youth Air Fair. Mayor Perrodin from the city of Compton attended the community event, and invited me to relocate the organization to the Compton Airport. With more hangar space and more youth to serve, it was an easy invitation to accept. Our name changed to Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum, and the Aviation Explorer Post continued to grow and began providing flight simulator classes, tutoring and homework help, and a Youth Leadership Council.
More Aviation Explorers were flying, and some of them even set world records: Jimmy Haywood, Kenny Roy, Jonathan Strickland, Kelly and Kimberly Anyadike. We have partnered with Compton Unified School District and AmeriCorps*VISTA to fight poverty through education.
Once I learned these statistics, I began to understand how incredibly important it is for TAM to spread its mission and help the community understand the link between aviation and science, technology, engineering, math (STEM):
On the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the U.S. ranked 24 in math and 17th in science out of 34 developed countries. Knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can be the key to a successful future. 75% of all college students are woman and students of color, but they represent only 45% STEM degrees earned each year. Over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs was 3X greater than that of non-STEM jobs, and workers who hold STEM degrees enjoy higher earnings regardless of occupation and workers in STEM occupations. (Edutopia) Other statistics show Hispanics and African Americans are struggling in math and reading proficiency at rates for below Whites and Asians. Additionally, the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card, showed support for hands-on science activities. Students whose teachers reported that they performed such projects every day or almost every day scored higher on average than students who performed less frequently. The NAEP believes future prosperity is tied to innovation spurred on by all students’ engagement in STEM.
This Summer, the TAM VISTAs, staff, volunteers, and I plan on launching a Commecial Space Prep summer camp and afterschool program with more hands-on STEM activities, flight training and ground instruction, guest speakers on careers in aviation and aerospace, field trips, and healthy meals. The Commercial Space Prep Summer Camp will be targeted to low-income students to help close the achievement gap that has been attributed, at least in part, to cumulative learning loss during the summers and that has been shown to be steeper for low-income students than for others, according to the National Summer Learning Association. The camp will offer a High School Fundamentals of Aviation course, an Elementary School Mission Prep STEM Enrichment & literacy 8-week course 4 hours Monday through Friday, and a Middle School Fly to Success Pre-Launch STEM Enrichment featuring the X-Plane fly-to-learn curriculum.
So volunteer with us, make a donation even if it's just a few dollars, spread the word and make sure to visit TAM on May 4th for the Arts & Aviation Career Expo. Thanks for helping me make this year a memorable "Birthday Beyond Earth."
Let's continue to help kids take off and fly high!
Yours in service,