|Amber Terrace Elementary|
Million dollar smiles from 3 corners of the world
Wednesday, 24 February 2010, Flyboyzs members (Boeing 767 Captain) Dennis Henderson and I (Boeing 747 First Officer) jump seated from Atlanta to Dallas, Texas. Mike Leslie (Boeing 747 First officer) jump seated from Denver to Dallas and arrived about 9 p.m. We were greeted by our Dallas event planner and coordinator Assistant Principal Jackie Briggs, the Flyboyzs’ life string in the Desoto School district.
Flyboyzs motto: The Sky is Not the Limit, Dare to Dream, Live your Dream.
Goals and objectives at Amber Terrace Elementary:
1). To Inspire, Motivate, Educate, Communicate, Associate and Donate.
2). To stress upon the students the importance of education and reading:
3). Create a real live learning environment based on aviation situations by transforming the school to resemble an international airport.
The entire school (Principal, Assistant Principal, Teachers, Faculty, administrative staff and the students) pitched in and set out on a several week journey to redesign the school to resemble an international airport. The artwork and redesign was exceptional.
1). TSA security procedures
2). Airport luggage procedures for screening
3). Allowable government items that can and cannot go onboard the airplane in your personal belongings
4). Baggage recovery procedures
1). Airline regulations and policies
2). Aircraft boarding procedures
3). Airline safety procedures
Assistant Principal Briggs coordinated for us to visit 4 schools in the Desoto area. Her K-5 school (Amber Terrace Elementary), Desoto Alternative School, McCowan Middle School and Desoto West Junior High School.
The plan for this school since they had so many students was to see only grades 3-5, about 500 students. We were told by the Assistant Principal, faculty and staff that the 2nd graders heard that the 3-5 graders were going to see the Flyboyzs (pilots) and they were very upset and disappointed that they were left out and started a rebellion and revolt and insisted they also get a chance to see the Flyboyzs.
The auditorium was only set up for one grade level at a time because of the large size of each class. A logistical limiting factor was there were no more chairs in the building.
Trying to explain this to 2nd graders did not go over so well. Not having a chair to sit in did not matter. In their eyes that was not a problem.
The 2nd graders said they would sit on the floor for the opportunity to see the Flyboyzs. Through their persistence the faculty agreed to let the 2nd graders sit on the floor for 45 minutes to attend the speaking engagement of the Flyboyzs.
The challenge for the faculty and staff was, while preparing an planning for the Flyboyzs visit in about 3 weeks, how to coordinate and entire school project and transform the school into an international airport to insure an invaluable learning experience for the students under the recommendations and guide lines set forth by the Flyboyzs.
The hands on interactive involvement of the students and teachers was far beyond anything we have seen or expected in our over 20 years of guest speaking at educational institutions. The educational benefit will be far reaching not only at airports but also in other aspects of their daily life and journey to success.
After Dennis, Mike and I arrived from 3 corners of the world (Dennis who previously flew around North America, Mike who recently flew in from Asia and myself recently in from the South Pacific) we hitched a ride to Desoto, Texas. We were greeted first by Assistant Principal Jackie Briggs and Principal Ranson,
We then went on one of the most impressive displays of elementary learning any one of us had ever seen.
We were immediately met by 2 aircraft marshallers who directed and guided us to the speaking area in what seemed to be full airport FAA approved safety vests, wands and ear protection/communication equipment.
As the students demonstrated the correct FAA approved hand guidance signals, we very carefully followed their directions like we would have, had we been steering our Boeing 747.
On our way to our airplane/briefing area we passed Amber’s TSA security screening where we noticed that Principal Ranson had got into full character and was harassing the students as they passed through the security line…. it was hilarious!
Assisted by Principal Ranson in the security area was Art Teacher Ms. Frerking. By the look I saw in her eyes as she checked the students carry on luggage I was thinking… hey little girl, don’t give Ms Frerking your luggage, she seems to like its color and style and you may not get it back! Ms Frerking then tried it on for size, color and style….
After briefing the students about security items, Principal Ranson then also joked and teased them about hidden candy and chocolate. As some students had to surrender their candy, I could not help but laugh when I heard one student say, “you can’t take my candy, it’s a metal detector, not a chocolate detector”
They had a secondary screening area controlled by the gym coach Ms Gideon. Assistant Principal, Customer Service Representative and Flight Attendant Jackie Briggs then guided them to their assigned seat as printed on their boarding pass that actually coincided to a seat in the gym auditorium. They had to find their respective seat on their own.
There was a baggage claim area set up in the auditorium where they had to retrieve their luggage.
After our briefing and video presentation we had many questions from the students.
By the look on their face, their undivided attention, the sparkle in their eyes and their million dollar smiles in the photos, our goals and objectives were accomplished and a complete success.
As you can see by the photos from this link, Amber photos, their undivided attention was nothing less than amazing.