GEAR UP 4 Little Wingmen

Great Expectations and Results Urgency Plan 4 Little Wingmen (GEAR UP 4 Little Wingmen) will help establish the Little Wingmen Preschool Program for Whiteman Air Force Base and Knob Noster.  Servicemembers and their families continue to place access to early childhood education among their top quality of life priorities.  Military leadership continues to emphasize education as the number one readiness issue facing our armed forces.  This grant is designed to address this issue while creating a high-quality, sustainable, and scalable Pre-K model that can be replicated across the country.  This academically-based program will provide early childhood education opportunities in STEM, Health Sciences, and literacy while also providing enriched learning in physical, mental, and social-emotional health, altogether enhancing school and life readiness.  In addition, the program will focus on the development of leadership and character traits in all learners.  Enriched professional development for Little Wingmen faculty and staff will also be provided.  Outcomes of the program include enhanced Kindergarten readiness and enhanced longitudinal K-12 learning outcomes. This grant is the third in a strategically-planned series of GEAR UP initiatives which will ensure a quality, forward-focused, personalized educational program is provided to all Knob Noster and Whiteman Air Force Base students that prepares them for success in life and college/career. Through embedded, research-proven training, this grant will strengthen teacher Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA’s) to better prepare students for Kindergarten-12 success.  The grant will also create new and expanded opportunities for students to engage in STEM and Health Sciences learning activities. All activities of the Little Wingmen preschool will align to movement and the development of healthy habits and life skills among students. Each of the designated classrooms for the program will open directly to an outdoor learning space. This space will include our STEM labs, outdoor exercise and play activities, and a host of outdoor learning and explorations spaces.  In addition, indoor motor labs are included in the project. Altogether the program design will ensure at least one hour per day of integrated, active movement and exercise into the instructional program.