Big Bear City, CA — Three-dozen preschool students were treated to a field trip to the Big Bear Airport in recent days and, says their teacher Miss Petty of the Baldwin Lane State Preschool, “The kids said it was one of the best field trips they’d ever been on. The Big Bear Pilots Association set up the headsets, so that the children could talk back-and-forth to each other from the control room to the airplane, and they were very excited to do that. It was great.” Each student was given opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a Cessna Skylane and operate the controls, as well as take a seat in the airport’s newly acquired (and enormous) skip loader and diesel-powered snowblower. Airport General Manager Pete Gwaltney also explained to students how the airport works, and introduced the littles to the diversity of careers available in aviation.
The Big Bear Airport offers youth the opportunity to fly in an airplane, free of charge, through the Young Eagles program sponsored by the Big Bear Pilots Association. Children ages seven to 17 are invited to participate by simply showing up at the airport with a guardian at 9am on any or all of the following Young Eagles program dates: June 12, July 17, August 14 and September 11.
As for the state preschool program, offered to low-income families and available at each of the three BVUSD elementary school sites (Baldwin Lane, North Shore and Big Bear Elementary), enrollment is currently underway for the upcoming school year. Miss Petty tells KBHR that four-year-olds take priority in enrollment, though all potentially qualified families are welcome to call 800-722-1091 for additional information on the state-funded preschool.