BRISTOL, R.I. (June 7, 2022) – Sailing centers throughout the country have been awarded grants to grow youth sailing through STEM and environmental education with 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 Initiative 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, Reach provides them with a one-of-a-kind authentic learning experience, giving students the opportunity to apply classroom learning in a cooperative work environment.
The following programs were selected for 2022 US Sailing Reach Youth Engagement grants. These grants were made possible by support from Rolex and US Sailing donors. Congratulations to the 2022 recipients.
Community Boating Center (Bellingham, WA) – The Community Boating Center’s mission is to foster small watercraft education, access, safe recreation, and marine stewardship on Bellingham Bay. The offer a variety of learn to sail programs, boat rentals, custom experiences, and paddling. This summer will be the first time they will implement the Reach modules, partnering with local schools and integrating them into the youth camps and youth instructor program.
Dillon Junior Sailing Club Inc. (Dillon, CO) – Based in a small Colorado mountain ski resort community, Dillon Junior Sailing has local youth sailors and many visiting sailors throughout the summer. Their mission is teaching safety on the water, creating a fun learning experience, building confidence, and developing sailing skills. Lake Dillon is a fixture in the local summer economy and protecting the shore and waterway is important for the organization. New to Reach, they are excited to incentivize parents and students who are interested in engaging their minds in the outdoor classroom, adding a much-needed depth to the learn to sail experience.
GORGE Junior Sailing (Hood River, OR) – 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 implemented their first year of Reach programming in 2021 and in 2022 will be supporting 20 students from Hood River New School in a Reach spring elective. They are looking forward to expanding their program to more local schools and home-schooled groups while training their staff in the Reach curriculum this year.
Green Bay Sail & Paddle (Green Bay, WI) – 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. In the past few years, they have grown their Reach programming and recently partnered with the Green Bay Public Schools. This new partnership will offer an 8-week program to the youth in that district. Additionally, they have added more STEM weeks of camp and participated in several community events, doing Reach modules with attendees.
Henderson Harbor Water Sports Programs (Henderson Harbor, NY) – The mission of Henderson Harbor Water Sports Program (HHWSP) is to promote learning, safety, and fun on and in the water; and, to have a positive impact on students, community, and the environment. Their primary partner for leading STEM and Reach camps is the Henderson Town Recreation Program. Together they will provide valuable STEM education and sailing experiences for a number of youth in their community who previously did not have the opportunity to sail. They will introduce students to water-based STEM, sailing, safe boating, and environmental stewardship.
Hudson River Community Sailing (New York, NY) – 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. Recently, their City Sail summer programming has grown, and they are excited to implement Reach with more students in this program in 2022.
Kitsap Sailing & Rowing Foundation (Silverdale, WA) – The Kitsap Sailing & Rowing Foundation believes that learning to sail and row teaches important life skills like teamwork, decision making, and appreciation of the natural environment. Competitive sailing and rowing require tactical and strategic thinking and physical ability. With each experience on the water, young people gain self-confidence, self-esteem and a sense of camaraderie and accomplishment. Kitsap Sailing Foundation has been utilizing STEM activities and the Reach curriculum during their summer learn to sail camps for years. They are adding an ROV to their camp resources this year in partnership with the Port Townsend STEM Club. They look forward to training more instructors in the Reach (STEM) Educator Course this year and offering Sailing Through STEM events for the community.
Sail Orcas (Eastsound, WA) – Sail Orcas is a volunteer-run nonprofit public charity that exists to share the joy of sailing with both youth and adults by providing high quality instruction and easy access to boats and facilities. They strive to teach this lifetime sport by promoting safe boat handling, teamwork, sportsmanship, camaraderie, and marine stewardship. They offer a Marine Science and Sailing Camp and a Recycle Regatta each year. This year they are growing their camp with additional materials and scientist tools to increase the impact for their participants and support them in developing a stronger sense of environmental stewardship.
Sheboygan Youth Sailing Center (Sheboygan, WI) – Sheboygan Youth Sailing Center’s mission is to cultivate an appreciation of the sport of sailing within the Sheboygan community by developing the skills to safely crew and skipper a sailboat at a reasonable price. For six summers they have utilized the Reach curriculum with the Sheboygan Area School District Summer School Program and integrated it into their regular sailing classes. This year they plan to grow their Reach programming through specific summer camps and events.
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 their beautiful Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario. In 2021 they introduced 300 participants to STEM using the Reach modules. They are working to add more fun and creativity with Reach modules in 2022 while allowing students to pursue their curiosity of sailing and the environment.