COA’s Dare Learning Academy takes a memorable field trip

By on February 2, 2018

On Dec. 15, College of The Albemarle’s Dare Learning Academy enjoyed visiting the Douglas C-54 ‘Spirit of Freedom’ maintained by the Berlin Airlift Historical Association at the Manteo airport on Roanoke Island.

At the event, students learned about its significance in the Berlin Airlift, an 18-month humanitarian effort to airlift food, medical supplies, clothing and many other life essentials to the people confined in the Russian sector of post-war Berlin.

During the airlift, a young pilot, Col. Gail Halvorsen, began dropping candy bars attached to makeshift handkerchief parachutes.


This flying museum has visited the Outer Banks for 18 years to participate in the Annual Wright Brothers First Flight Celebration, commemorating the anniversary of the first powered flight. The Spirit of Freedom has reenacted the candy drop for children all over the country.

The annual visit includes a candy drop for Outer Banks children, as well as educational talks and tours.

Prior to the event, learning academy instructor Dr. Tina Bradley worked with students on their soft skills, including letter writing, and students were able to use those skills to sign Thank You letters for the crew, airport authority and organizers of the event.

“The students were well-behaved and demonstrated the ability to utilize lessons in appropriate professional behavior such as shaking the hand of each crew member, introducing themselves and thanking each person for allowing them to enjoy this opportunity.

“This is just one of the many ways the Dare Learning Academy utilizes non-traditional educational modalities, which are proving to be very successful with these students and its success is evident in the students’ output.”

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