SAN DIEGO — The USS Midway Museum received its largest grant in history Monday from Cox Communications.
The $1.5 million donation will be used to expand educational programs at the museum attended by local K-12 students.
“They learn about electricity. They learn about weather. They learn about Newton’s Laws in a very engaging environment, but they’re learning it in a classroom that is steeped in history; steeped in tradition,” said President and CEO of the USS Midway Museum, Mac Maclaughlin.
The money will be used to launch programs for younger children and to enhance the popular overnight program.
“What this money is going to do is allow us to expand our capacity for our overnight program,” said Maclaughlin. “Right now, we max out at 200 kids. We have to turn away a lot so this will allow out to build out another $150 -$200.”
Jim Kennedy, Chairman of Cox Enterprises Inc., said it was a special day for his family and company. His mother christened the warship in 1945.
“Now to be able, almost 70 years later, to be able to come back and help with its more humanitarian mission, its education mission, it has just been a great opportunity,” said Kennedy.
Nearly 50,000 area students attend educational programs at the USS Midway Museum each year. Laramie Littig, a teacher at Bancroft Community School in Spring Valley, said it’s always her student’s favorite field trip.
“II’s one of the best educational experiences,” Littig said.
Her students were able to get scholarships to attend. Some of the grant money will go to expand scholarship opportunities.
“I think that’s amazing,” she said of the grant money. “We’re a Title 1 school so we have a low socio-economic status. It’s hard for parents to pay for the field trip for their students.”
For fifth grader Omar Price taking classes aboard the Midway is a highlight.
“It’s awesome,” he told Fox 5 outside the classroom which used to be a berthing room where sailors slept. ”I learned how to do the water temperature and the air speed and then we’re going to go outside on the flight deck and see how much the wind speed is.”
The museum celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.