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Museum's education staff prepares for literature, art programs

DAYTON, Ohio -- More than 1,000 second- and third-graders from the Dayton area participated in Read Across America at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Feb. 25-26, 2010. Various reading stations were set up around the museum, and volunteers from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base read aviation-related stories during the national celebration, which takes place each year around Dr. Seuss' birthday. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- More than 1,000 second- and third-graders from the Dayton area participated in Read Across America at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Feb. 25-26, 2010. Various reading stations were set up around the museum, and volunteers from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base read aviation-related stories during the national celebration, which takes place each year around Dr. Seuss' birthday. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- In addition to teaching and presenting programs related to science, technology, engineering and math, the Education Division has also developed programming involving literature and art.

The year 2011 marks the 12th Annual Read Across America "Read-In" at the Museum, the largest event of its kind in the state of Ohio. The annual "Read-In" will be held on February 24-25, and it is being co-sponsored by the Museum and the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Educational Outreach Office. The event features volunteers from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base reading aviation-related stories, as well as books by Dr. Seuss, to over 1,000 local second and third grade students. Volunteers, many of whom are active-duty personnel, are positioned at 24 different reading stations located throughout the Museum's galleries.

The event is part of the Read Across America celebration sponsored nationally by the National Education Association (NEA) and by many of America's leading literacy, civic and youth groups. A primary reason for the national "Read-In" is to put every student in front of a reading adult on Dr. Seuss' 107th birthday! Just a few years ago, the Museum's "Read-In" received two national awards from the NEA: one for "best ongoing activity/event" and one for "most community members involved!"

Also in 2011, the Museum will hold its 28th Annual Student Aviation Art Competition, featuring the theme "Manned Space Exploration!" Student artists from schools in Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark and Warren counties in Ohio will be asked to create artwork which depicts and commemorates one or more of the following space-exploration anniversaries: the 85th anniversary of the first liquid-fuel rocket (Robert Goddard), the 50th anniversary of the first human flight into space (Yuri Gagarin), the 50th anniversary of America's first manned space flight (Alan Shepard), the 40th anniversary of Apollo 15's flight to the moon and back (with an all-Air Force crew), and the 30th anniversary of the very first shuttle mission!

Students' artwork will be on exhibit at the Museum from March 26 through May 1, and the art will be judged in seven, grade-based categories: K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12 and special needs grades K-6 and 7-12. There will be first, second and third-place awards in each category, as well as a best-of-show winner, and these student artists will be honored at an awards ceremony and reception. There were nearly 200 entries on exhibit last year, and there were over 1,000 participants at the awards ceremony and reception!

Note: This article originally appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of Friends Journal. To receive the Journal and other benefits, become a member of the Air Force Museum Foundation.

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