BRISTOL, R.I. (July 8, 2021) – Sailing centers throughout the country have been awarded grants to grow youth sailing utilizing STEM and environmental education through the US Sailing Reach Initiative. The grants provide non-profit sailing centers with funds and resources to further their Reach program goals and provide more opportunities for students in their community.
The Reach Program utilizes sailing as an educational platform, challenging youth to embrace education, establish a love of learning, and explore productive Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) based careers. Combining educators, sailing instructors, engineers, and scientists with today’s youth to provide them with a one-of-a-kind authentic learning experience, giving students the opportunity to apply classroom learning in a cooperative work environment.
Now more than ever, youth are seeking places to explore their local ecosystems, engage in hands-on learning experiences, and get to know one another in a safe, fun environment. This is especially the case for those who typically may not have access to or awareness of these opportunities. The goal is to create a positive educational and recreational space for youth of all backgrounds.
2021 Youth Engagement Grants
Reach Youth Engagement grants have been made available to provide financial support for materials, program costs, and staff training when implementing the Reach Initiative. Grant recipients are sailing organizations that are often new to the Reach program and seeking support with partnership development and content delivery. These programs are invaluable for the youth who are now given a chance to experience hands-on learning while exploring their local aquatic environments from a sailboat.
The following programs were selected for 2021 US Sailing Reach Youth Engagement grants. These grants were made possible by support from Rolex and US Sailing donors. Congratulations to the 2021 recipients.
Beaufort Community Sailing & Boating – The mission of Beaufort Community Sailing & Boating (BCSB) is to instill seamanship skills in all program participants, and provide training in sail, paddle, and power to the Beaufort community. They offer youth summer programs, high school sailing, private lessons, and adult sailing. Integrating the Reach curriculum into their summer Learn to Sail camp for the first time since they started in 2004, BCSB is eager to get started this year and potentially explore fall school programming.
Community Sailing New Orleans – Community Sailing New Orleans’ (CSNO) mission is to positively impact lives by providing accessible educational and recreational opportunities on Lake Pontchartrain for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. CSNO completed their first year in operation in 2020. In 2021, they will increase their STEM and Marine Career Pathways Initiative to provide year-round, long-term youth development programming for local middle school and high school students. The Initiative provides students with direct and relevant experiences that promote physical activity, intellectual engagement, and workforce training.
Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation – Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation (CISF) inspires and empowers people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities by engaging them with the marine environment of Narragansett Bay through sailing and education. Their core values, opportunity, education, stewardship, and positive youth development drives all their decisions and every program they offer. Having grown tremendously since its founding in 2000, they now offer shoulder season programming and after-school programs. Their successful Ocean STEAM Education Initiative and fourth-grade sailing programs are adding in Reach curriculum this year.
GORGE Junior Sailing – GORGE Junior Sailing (GJS) is dedicated to promoting the lifelong sport of sailing in a safe, fun, and educational environment to the Gorge community. With a focus on teaching sailing, the program also fosters growth in life skills such as sportsmanship, teamwork, independence, and responsibility. GJS is looking forward to an inaugural year of STEM and sailing after their initial first year was halted in 2020. Having formed partnerships with several schools in the area GJS is excited to implement a science-learning curriculum, using the Reach program, centered on the school’s math and physics tracks.
Green Bay Sail & Paddle – Green Bay Sail & Paddle creates opportunities for all area youth and families, regardless of means and abilities, to safely enjoy sail and paddle sports on the waters of Green Bay. By aligning their program with the US Sailing Reach Initiative, they were able to solidify offering Summer School options for the Green Bay Public Schools. During the last three years, close to 800 summer school students have been introduced to sailing. More importantly, they were learning valuable components of science, technology, engineering, math, and respect for the environment. Reach modules are also integrated into all their regular classes and they are active members of the community partnering with many youth service providers and conducting water quality testing, creating local citizen scientists.
Minneapolis Sailing Center – The mission of Minneapolis Sailing Center is to foster an inclusive, sustainable community and to teach sailing to all. Their goals include instilling self-reliance, confidence, and cooperation in students while having fun. They offer family classes, youth sailing, adult class, and group lessons in addition to their community partnership programs. The primary audiences for their Reach programs are youth day camps, community outreach field trips, and local school field trips.
Sodus Bay Junior Sailing Association – Sodus Bay Junior Sailing Association (SBJSA) is committed to making the joys of sailing & other watersports available to everyone, building lifelong boaters & fostering responsible eco-awareness & stewardship of our natural resource, Great Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario. SBJSA’s “Windward” project is a community project focused on afterschool recreation and STEM-infused learning on the water. “Windward” is offered after school this year as a model for the local school district with a goal to continue it for the fall and to include every school district in the county. Nearly all their participants are new to the benefits and experience of sailing.
Hudson River Community Sailing – Hudson River Community Sailing (HRCS) develops leadership and academic success in underserved New York City youth and provides maritime education and recreation to the community at large. HRCS has been running STEM-based programming since its founding in 2008, partnering directly with public schools to offer a credit-bearing after-school program (Sail Academy) built on the math and science of sailing. They have expanded their STEM programs utilizing Reach with middle school students and summer camp participants. HRCS also offers programs for Adult and Adaptive sailors.
St. Augustine Yacht Club Foundation – St. Augustine Yacht Club Foundation strives to empower youth and adults through the sport of sailing and believes that access to the water should be made available to everyone in their community. Having used the Reach curriculum in their summer Sail Camp, Adventure Sailing, and Sail Team racing programs, they are eager to expand and offer the program to more school students in the fall and expand their school partnerships. Beyond offering learn to sail and race programs for youth, they also offer opportunities for adults to get out on the water and learn to race.
South Haven Boating Foundation – South Haven Boating Foundation (SHBF) is dedicated to supporting junior and adult sailing. Their programs also include family sailing and learn to race class on the shores of Lake Michigan. Their STEM programming began with a mobile classroom visiting elementary and middle school students at their schools, focusing on hands-on education. This summer, they are integrating the Reach curriculum into their junior sailing program, providing STEM Education to over 100 students.