PNP Pilots Share Their Experience With Children Enrolled In The Youth Ambassador K9 Career Program (YAP™)
On a rainy October Friday afternoon, Pilots N Paws (PNP) volunteer pilot Andris Skulte and his wife Kristen Skulte shared two of their passions—airplanes and dogs—with a group of middle-school children from a local urban school. This group of 11 students was from the Jumoke Charter School in Hartford, CT, which is a STEM charter school.
This particular group was part of an enrichment class sponsored by The Youth Ambassador K9 Career Program (YAP™). YAP™ was started at the suggestion of the Department of Homeland Security with the goal of educating the youth of America about K9 careers to help fulfill the future growing needs for working K9s, especially in national security areas.
The students learned a lot about a Cessna 172. Andris showed them around the plane, how to do a pre-flight, and they all got the opportunity to sit in the pilot’s seat. Andris and Kristen also demonstrated to them how they transport animals in the plane as part of our work with PNP. They loaded up the small dogs in the crate in the backseat, and showed them how they harness a larger dog, their own rescue dog Zippy, and attach her to the seatbelt.
The children were so curious and inquisitive. Most of them were in awe of the airplane while a few spent most of the time petting and just being with the dogs. This was so rewarding as many of these students live in the inner-city and are often fearful of dogs, but these children were so comfortable and interested! Kristen is sure their prior experiences with the YAP program have contributed to this, and she said that both she and Andris were so happy to get the opportunity to reinforce that through introducing them to Pilots N Paws.