RISE ABOVE - Inspiring youth to overcome obstacles and attain excellence based on the lessons of the Tuskegee Airmen.
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron is a 501c3 non-profit group that is affiliated with the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). When the CAF Red Tail Squadron was established in the mid-1990s, it had one goal: to educate people about the history and legacy of America's first black military pilots and their support personnel - the Tuskegee Airmen. Their courage in overcoming racism on the ground and the Luftwaffe in the air during WWII, and the fine examples of citizenship they set when they returned from war, contain life lessons for us all.
Young people need role models and often choose professional musicians and athletes to emulate. The CAF Red Tail Squadron believes that the Tuskegee Airmen are also role models. Their determination to succeed while facing obstacles that often seemed insurmountable and working very hard to overcome them is one of quiet, timeless heroism that young people can understand.
Thanks to the support of our donors we have succeeded in bringing our educational program RISE ABOVE featuring our rare P-51C Mustang “Tuskegee Airmen” and the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit to communities across the country. Since the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit debuted in July 2011 over 91,000 people have registered to see the free "Rise Above" movie in the exhibit.
Over 35,000 school children have seen the "Rise Above" movie and received the free inspirational dog tag that features the six guiding principles of the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s Rise Above educational program. These principles reflect how the Tuskegee Airmen rose above all of the obstacles they faced in order to fly and fight for America. The dog tags read: Aim High – Believe In Yourself – Use Your Brain – Never Quit – Be Ready to Go – Expect To Win.
We also flew our popular red-tailed P-51C Mustang to air shows. Total attendance at those shows was more than 5,300,000, so you get some idea as to how many people saw the airplane and learned more about the Tuskegee Airmen.
We also offer these educational materials to educators and youth leaders to help inspire our youth:
• A free iBook, Aim High – The Aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen. This is an exciting and visual look at the history of the famous black military pilots and crewman who became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. This interactive book covers all of the important planes the Airmen flew in their growth as pilots and gives readers a feel for the progress the airmen achieved in their flying skills and exploits in combat. The book is geared for readers who prefer more images, sounds and slide shows and less text. In this way, we hope to inspire young people with the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen to aim high and rise above to triumph over adversity.
The iBook can be downloaded at https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/aim-high-aircraft-tuskegee/id691393190?mt=11&ls=1
(You miust have an iPad to download the book)
• TAKE OFF FOR FUN, an educational kit filled with resources for educators and other youth leaders that will help young people learn about the Tuskegee Airmen, history, science and aviation.
More information about these and other educational resources can be found at http://www.redtail.org/education/
Thank you for sharing our vision. And if you should see us at an event in the near future, I hope you will come up out of the crowd and introduce yourself as a supporter of the CAF Red Tail Squadron. We'd like to shake your hand. You can find our schedule online at www.redtail.org/calendar
What people are saying:
My grade 6 class from Wiscasset Middle School in Wiscasset, ME tremendously enjoyed the Tuskegee Airmen Show and were thrilled to see the five WWII planes. It will be a strong foundation for them as they study American history and they will be able to refer back to this as an example of American pride. They really enjoyed receiving the dog tags and we made inspirational posters for our halls using the motivational phrases.
N. Erkman, Grade 6 ELA WMS