2004-10-08 / Education

Roundtop Elementary: where learning takes flight

Celebrate Freedom Foundation and Roundtop Elementary School have joined to gether to honor the Tuskegee Airmen
By Tammie Maddock

Assistant Principal Dell Brabham and Principal Jeaneen Tucker join a group of enthusiastic Round Top Aviators welcoming Airman W. T. “Bill” Simmons to the Round Top campus for an assembly honoring the Tuskegee Airmen.
Assistant Principal Dell Brabham and Principal Jeaneen Tucker join a group of enthusiastic Round Top Aviators welcoming Airman W. T. “Bill” Simmons to the Round Top campus for an assembly honoring the Tuskegee Airmen.

In August, 2003, Round Top Elementary School opened its doors. Students, faculty, and staff of the new school were given the name The Round Top Aviators, and they adopted the motto, Where learning takes flight .

The Celebrate Freedom Foundation adopted the school and has supported its Aviators by donating model planes, pictures, historical information, and aeronautical paraphernalia.

As Principal Jeaneen Tucker says, “Since we opened, the Celebrate Freedom Foundation has been so supportive of Round Top Elementary! The fly–over they provided for our dedication ceremony was incredible! When those vintage planes tipped their wings to us as they passed over the third time we all got so excited we had chills! The school is now sponsoring a Tuskegee Airman to attend the 60th Reunion Celebration in November.”

The Round Top Aviators are working hard to raise $2,500, the amount needed to bring one airman to the November 4–7 event.

General Woody Randall, chairman and CEO of the Celebrate Freedom Foundation, says, “The Tuskegee Airmen were instrumental in WWII and are part of the reason we are not speaking German today. It is time to bring these heroes together to honor their service to our country.”

The Tuskegee Airmen were trained at the Tuskegee Institute, which is now known as Tuskegee University. Four hundred and fifty–eight African-American fighter pilots received their training under the command of Col. Benjamin O. Davis Jr., who later became the US Air Force’s first African–American general. There are currently 47 active chapters of Tuskegee Airmen throughout the US. Each chapter will be represented at the reunion.

Principal Tucker has approached area businesses in an effort to raise funds, and many students have taken it upon themselves to raise money for the cause. The Airman the Round Top Aviators sponsor will come to the school to speak about the role of the Tuskegee Airmen in WWII.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Celebrate Freedom Foundation and its mission can contact 772-2945 or www.celebratefreedomfoundation.org. Any individual or business interested in helping the Round Top Aviators meet their goal may contact the school at 691-8676 or www.richland2.org/rte.

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