Children helping children

Classe au musée de l'aviation et de l'espace du Canada

Two years ago, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum was approached by a Montreal area teacher for assistance to fund a class trip. The Museum offered the Adopt-a-Class program, which provides bus and/or admissions fee assistance for schools that serve a high percentage of families in need so these students can experience Canada’s rich aviation and space heritage at the Museum.

On May 1, 2013, middle school students from École Ste-Gertrude arrived at the Museum for the experience of a lifetime. The students participated in the Museum’s “Flight” program, manipulating the controls of a small aircraft, building kites, performing aerodynamics experiments, and touring the Museum. At day’s end, 53 excited children boarded their bus and thanked the Museum with waves and smiles.

The children, teachers and parents were so marked by the experience that they were moved to take action when they returned home. Driven by a desire to show their appreciation by giving back, they started a fundraising campaign with the goal of donating funds back into the Wheels Up! program so that other children could have the same experience. In the spring of 2014, the new class of Ste-Gertrude students arrived for their program, bearing a cheque which they proudly presented to Stephen Quick, Director General of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum at the time.

As Ottawa experiences its traditional January deep freeze, the Museum staff eagerly anticipate the spring of 2015. Not only for the warm weather but for the return of this remarkable teacher and his amazing student body and community. Although the students at École Ste-Gertrude may visit the Museum to learn about aviation and space, they have already learned a far greater lesson in life.

In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, “we make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

And the students of École Ste-Gertrude are certainly making an extraordinary life!

For more information on the Wheels Up! program, please contact the Foundation directly at or 1-800-288-0471.

To help make an unforgettable experience at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum possible for under privileged children, offer your support through a secure online donation (select “Canada Aviation and Space Museum” and “Adopt-a-Class”).