Propeller Coon Rapids Parade – The Adventure

Last night Propeller appeared in the Coon Rapids 4th of July Celebration parade…at least for about a third of it… Without any warning a crazy storm appeared sending the parade into chaos.
The night had been warm (nearly 100 degrees) but then it cooled off a bit. A large dark cloud appeared and the wind picked up…possibly reaching speeds of 70 mph knocking down trees, blowing up sand, papers, etc. Suddenly, people were running in a mad scramble for cover but with no where to go. We quickly dismantled the airplane and banner on our float as all 9 kids and 6 adults piled into our mini-van. There were plenty of police along the route but they really didn’t know what to do in the moment.
Our Propeller slogan “Adventure in Learning” certainly applied in this bonding moment for us all. We’re so thankful that no one was hurt.

There are a few photos below before the craziness, but the cable TV station got a little bit of video (and this was not the worst of the storm).

The rest of the parade was cancelled as were evening fireworks in Coon Rapids.  The storm was mentioned on KARE11 TV.

So what did we learn? We need to be prepared for anything. Fortunately, we had packed the van in a way that allowed us to all get in quickly. The parents stayed calm and moved the kids to safety quickly. Thanks to God for protecting us all.


The Kids are the Reason

At Propeller we care deeply about our kids…and their success is our top priority. We were reminded of this yesterday when we appeared in the Blaine Blazin’ 4th Parade. Check out our happy lineup of Propeller Kids that had an awesome time together sharing joy with many people along the parade route.














Propeller Wins First Place in Parade!

Propeller Academy participated in our first parade at Spring Lake Park “Tower Days“. Here are some photos on Facebook.

Propeller Academy won First Place for the best community float!

We all had so much fun at the parade. It was great to be able to bring joy to so many people. Lots of smiles, laughter, and happiness. Look for us at the Blaine, Coon Rapids, and Andover parades later this summer. It’ll be a blast. We’re taking off!

We had the tallest banner of any float…and we had to carry it several times to avoid the power lines! Thanks so much to all the people that came…parents, kids, and the parade goers! We couldn’t do this without you. You are truly awesome!

Propeller Open House Events

Propeller Academy is now hosting a virtual open house! You can get all the information you need to make the best decision for your family from the comfort of your own home with minimum impact on your summer fun schedule. Sign up below and we’ll send you a quick link to the event and updates as they become available.

Open House Reservation

I'm interested in learning more about this exciting opportunity for our family:

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  • Please include your mobile phone number.

Propeller Power Lego Set

Lego has a building set called Propeller Power #6745. Here’s a very cool video of how it is built…






LEGO Creator – Propeller Power from Brian Stark on Vimeo.

Check out these other airplane Lego sets with prominent propellers…

Lego Propeller Seaplane 3178

Lego Pharoah’s Quest Biplane 7307

ACSI Membership

Propeller Academy became members of ACSI in March 2011. The Association of Christian Schools International is a resource for Christian schools around the world. We are excited to be a part of this great organization.

Multiple Intelligences in School

At Propeller, we stress the importance of understanding perceptions, developing skills, and utilizing imagination through a Biblical worldview. An aspect of our educational philosophy is the use of multiple intelligences. While aspects of this approach are used by many teachers, there are only a handful of schools cultured around implementing multiple intelligences (MI) in the United States. MI theory consists of eight areas that a individual can exhibit strength in. It is common for children to be strong in two or three areas and weaker in two of three areas. This awareness allows us to create a school where everyone is smart – we are just smart differently. Since each person is unique, we believe that it is appropriate to tailor activities and lessons towards various MI. It would not be practical to have every lesson taught through MI, however it is a pathway to create understanding, spark curiosity and allow for diversity amongst the student population so that negative aspects of competition and comparison are reduced and the healthy aspects of competition and comparison build competence, confidence and appreciation for the strengths that every person has.

George Lucus, filmmaker of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, has created an education foundation called Edutopia. This foundation explores ideas about project based learning and multiple intelligences – primarily for public schools. While some ideas only apply to public schools (standardized testing, annual yearly performance (AYP) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB), there are some great resources to inspire how Propeller Academy can innovate education for amazing kids.

Here is a video that shows what implementing multiple intelligence theory into school does for students and how it changes the way learning is experienced:

My Experience Choosing a Private Christian School

Two years ago my wife and I were making a major decision for our daughters about their future…what school would they attend? We differed in our approach…partly because we had very different experiences growing up. I had a positive experience with the public schools. My father even taught for over 30 years in the public schools. That was many years ago. Much has changed in our world and culture since then. Public school teachers face some big challenges.

My wife’s experience with public schools was extremely negative. She was labeled as slow and lacking capability. At one point in her education a teacher singled her out and presented her to the class as “the one that you never want to be like…an incredibly poor example of a person”. Soon after, Brenda was removed from that school by her mother who began home schooling her. Within a year she was reading many books and went on to become an excellent student. In fact Brenda became the first female in Minnesota to graduate with a post-secondary degree before she would normally graduate from high school. Because of her personal experience, she has a passion for making sure kids are taken care of in school.

My heart really changed when I saw the high school graduation party for some close friends that had attended private Christian school and home school throughout their education. The vision I saw of a community of supporters that would be there for them throughout their next phase of life through college and beyond was so important. I saw that they knew they were not alone in their faith. The way they communicated their past experiences, goals, and dreams to others showed something that I had never seen before in kids graduating from high school.

We investigated several private schools and eventually found one that fit for us. A few of the many reasons we chose a private Christian school for our daughters were:
* Integration of faith and prayer into everyday life. It’s a big deal for kids to see this modeled as a way of life. Many Christian kids only get to experience this 1-2 hours a week at church if that. School adds in many more contact points with excellent role models up to 30+ hours or more a week.
* Smaller class sizes. Having less that 18 students in a class gives kids a huge advantage. Teachers are able to be so much more effective and give kids the kind of attention they need to succeed.
* Excellent curriculum that incorporates belief that the Bible is true and reliable. The reason so many kids leave their faith when they get older is because they haven’t been instructed on why the Bible can be true with their real questions being answered.
* Celebration of Christian holidays including Easter and Christmas without apology.

The biggest negative factor was the cost. How would we make it work financially? This was a sacrifice…because public school is “free”…although we pay for it in taxes of course. I knew that others were able to do it. In the end, we felt it was the right thing to do to give our kids the best chance possible to succeed.

Propeller’s tuition point really makes it possible for so many more families. At $4,500/year it’s about $375/month over 12 months. Many people pay $20,000+/year for child care, $900/year for coffee, or over $2,000/year for pets. We need to make our children’s education a priority. Can a grandparent help with tuition? Could you drive a more economical car?

I’m not saying that everything or everyone that chooses to attend public schools is bad. It’s just that for our values and the outcomes we want for our kids, the cost is worth it. Our children have so much potential and we want to see it come alive. This investment is in their future. It is especially important to start them out early in the right way as it will prepare them for obstacles and opportunities that life presents to them as they get older.

As you make your decision we want to share this blessing with you “May God bless and keep you; May God smile on you and gift you; May God show you his favor and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

New Propeller Ads

This is so true… Those people that have experienced Propeller Academy are our biggest fans.














Children Will Change the World

I like to day dream. This trait was obvious to my parents, my teachers and even my siblings. I would lay on my back and look at the clouds and pick out the floating animals. I would look up at the ceiling of my house and imagine what life would be like if we lived upside down. Day dreaming is fun.

While I don’t have a lot of time for day dreaming today, I do choose to continue to live a life in pursuit of God-sized dreams. I have become convinced that many adults are overlooking the importance of raising up great kids. Yeah, I know. I’ve hear the slogans about our children being our future and how we can change the world. But, life can get so busy, and life can get so hard, that the task of nurturing our kids and helping them to dream gets prioritized to tomorrow, or the next paycheck, or next year.

Dreams are great. They can paint a picture of an unseen reality – and we need that. However a vital component of dreams coming true – is to do something to actually help it happen.

You may dream of going on a great trip to Disney World. There is a chance you could win an all expense paid trip, but it is more likely that you will dream about it, make a plan, start saving, anticipate it…and then experience it.

Propeller Academy came about because of a dream, but there are dozens of adults and children who are committed to taking the required steps, by faith, to see a dream become a reality. It requires prayer, hard work, tenacity, smarts, more prayer, rest, asking for wisdom, seeking wise council and doing the right things – every single day. That is the journey of any person who has seen amazing things happen. It is the same with building great organizations.

In the nearly twenty years that I have worked with organizational leaders, the difference between average and great boils down to constantly attending to the vision of the organization and then doing something. As I practice the disciplines required to create Propeller, everyday I focus on accomplishing at least three high value activities. These days the benchmark hovers around ten to twenty high value activities. Why? Because it takes persistence and hard work to see great things happen. More importantly though, it is because of the vision that Propeller Academy will make a big difference in the lives of children who need us to equip them to change the world.

We cannot wait until someone else does it. There is a growing crisis amongst our children and they need hope. The church cannot do it alone. Parents cannot do it all alone. Kids cannot do it alone. Schools cannot do it alone.

We are all a part of one body – and we need every part to be functioning. Propeller Academy exists to partner with parents, students, churches, and the greater community to resource God’s plans.

We care about kids, and families, and the Great Commission. What if there was a better way? What if God wanted to establish an amazing group of excited and equipped kids to change their world?

Recently I was challenged with this question, “What would you do if you knew for certain that God was on your side?” Would you be more willing to take a risk? What would you be willing to sacrifice to see God do something amazing in your kids? In your family? In your community? In the world?

Dreams are great,  but it’s time to put dreams into action to see what can happen when we live by the faith we actually claim to have. It’s time to create the realities we desire to our children to experience. It’s time to be intentional and take a step in the direction of something amazing.

I ran across this video which I think is truly fascinating about children and their opportunity to influence their world. Propeller Academy’s one-to-one campaign could be a huge answer to the problems so many children are facing globally. The only thing that stands in the way of this type of influence is people who are willing to dream and take the steps of faith to make it a reality. Would you like to be a part of something amazing?