Car museum founder launches driver's education program for Philly youth

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The founder of an award-winning car museum is leading the charge to bring driver's education back to Philadelphia.

"When you think of STEAM education, can you think of anything that has more of that than an automobile?" asked Dr. Fred Simeone, founder of the Simeone Foundation Automative Museum in Southwest Philadelphia.

Simeone opened the museum 13 years ago. Since then, it has won multiple national and international awards, including best automobile collection in the world.

But Simeone said what's most gratifying has been educating young people about the art, science and safety surrounding cars and driving. Now he wants to help prepare Philly's teens for the responsibilities of the road, through the museum's new driver's education program.

"We're particularly reaching out to inner city kids, recognizing remarkably that there is no driver's education provided by the School District of Philadelphia," he said.

Simeone said having a driver's license and learning to be a responsible driver will give Philadelphia students a greater chance of success.

"We think that driver education is an important part of education. You need to have that license and be a safe driver," he said.

In addition to the program at the museum, Simeone's mission has also taken him to Harrisburg.

"You don't learn about distracted driving anywhere, lane changing and mirror placement," he said. To that end, Simeone said he's working with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to make driver's education a requirement in Philadelphia schools.

The Simeone Foundation Automative Museum is open Tuesdays-Sundays.