Unit Education Officers
Each unit should strive to have an Education Officer to ensure adequate facilitation of your education initiatives that will lead to an overall successful program. The CAF Education support team will provide the guidance and resources needed for this officer to thrive, which will increase your unit’s community impact.
The Education Officer should look for opportunities to engage with youth to promote CAF, STEM, and aviation learning. These opportunities include but are not limited to:
• Airshow or Unit events that include an education area
• Informal education programs, such as scouts or clubs
• Formal education with schools o Inviting classes to the Unit for aviation and STEM activities, special events or guest speakers o Going to the school(s) for Career Day, reading to students (aviation-related book, and/or wearing a flight suit), bringing in aviation or historical tools, providing a STEM or aviation activity for classroom or school event
It is the responsibility of the Education Officer to ensure all volunteers and the Unit are complying with the Youth Protection and Interaction Policy, media use, and hold harmless directives. The Education Officer will have access to the Sterling Volunteers dashboard showing the list of volunteers who are cleared through a background check to work with youth. Click here for more information about CAF Youth Interaction and Protection.:
Connect with the Education Team and your fellow CAF Education Officers!
What do I need to do first?
Elect or appoint a unit Education Officer. Read through and understand the resources available on this website.
Don't be hesitant to reach out to other CAF Units or the CAF Education Team!
Is there a certain way my unit has to run an education program?
In a nutshell, no. However, there are certain best practices and guidelines under the Getting Started and Resource Center sections of the website that will ensure you are successful and engaging. Most importantly, make sure you are staying true to our mission to Educate. Inspire. Honor. with hands on, meaningful activities, building strong community partnerships, and making sure kids are growing their knowledge of Aviation, STEM, and the Greatest Generation.
BENEFITS FOR CAF UNITS
Looking to increase meaningful volunteer opportunities and recruit new members? Implementing a successful educational outreach program will not only benefit your community, it will strengthen your current membership base. Capitalize on your unit’s passion to share the inspirational messages of the CAF and inject new energy into your group.
Units are encouraged to host students in informal settings, such as scouting, and work with formal education by inviting classrooms and clubs in to experience the tools of the CAF. Unit members are also encouraged to visit schools for career day, reading to classes, or any other opportunity that introduces students to STEM and aviation.
How much will this cost?
The cost to your unit will depend on the level of investment you want to put into your community. Some programs may only require time, while others may necessitate fundraising to support larger efforts, like the dome theater, a full education day or a mini "summer camp". Along with an educational plan, it maybe helpful to develop a funding plan linked to building community partnerships.
Contact the CAF Education team with your questions so we can add the answers here to increase our shared knowledge!
Build Community Partnerships
Building an education program creates a symbiotic relationship with your community. The CAF wants to educate youth with positive messaging, and your community is hungry for meaningful, affordable, family-friendly events. Your community and your unit each get stronger in this worthy endeavor.
Relevant events and outreach programs, clear communication and quality relationships are key to success. Your community connections will prove to be your greatest asset… all you need to do is tap into it!
Reach out and build awareness:
Below are some suggestions on potential partnerships. Check with Unit members, friends, family, coworkers, others you may know who can help with introductions.
Regional leadership of scouting organizations
Faith-based community action groups
Local like-minded non-profits
Community festival organizers
Special interest groups – parent/moms clubs, youth groups, parent teacher organizations (PTOs), middle and high school after school clubs
Local press – TV stations, newspapers, magazines, radio stations
Local Facebook interest groups
Last but not least…. unit membership! (Don’t forget to keep all your members in the loop and invite them to participate!)
Foster ongoing relationships
After you introduce yourself, your unit and your mission, keep in contact! Build an email list and use it regularly to send updates on upcoming activities, successful events and opportunities for collaboration.
Don't forget the value of a hand written thank you note!
Send a Unit Newsletter--Include all your relevant education program information in your unit’s newsletter and website
Promote events on your social media channels to engage your followers and drum up support.
Communicate early and communicate often to create strong, lasting relationships!
Connect and collaborate with your fellow Education Officers and other CAF Units for a whole new level of support!