BRISTOL, RI (June 7, 2022) – Sailing centers across the country have received grants to develop youth sailing through STEM and environmental education with the US Sailing Reach Initiative. The grants provide nonprofit sailing centers with funds and resources to achieve their Reach program goals and provide more opportunities for students in their community.
The Reach Initiative uses sailing as an educational platform, inspiring young people to embrace education, develop a love of learning, and explore productive careers based on science, technology, engineering, and math ( STEM). Combining educators, sailing instructors, engineers and scientists with today’s youth, Reach offers them a one-of-a-kind authentic learning experience, giving students the opportunity to apply learning in the classroom in a cooperative work environment.
The following programs have been shortlisted for the 2022 US Sailing Reach Youth Engagement Grants. These grants were made possible through the support of donors from Rolex and US Sailing. Congratulations to the 2022 winners.
Community Watersports Center (Bellingham, WA) – The mission of the Community Boating Center is to promote education, access, safe recreation and marine stewardship on small watercraft in Bellingham Bay. The offers a variety of learn-to-sail programs, boat rentals, personalized experiences and paddling. This summer will be the first time they’ve implemented the Reach modules, partnering with local schools and integrating them into youth camps and the youth instructor program.
Dillon Junior Sailing Club Inc. (Dillon, CO) – Based in a small mountain ski resort community in Colorado, Dillon Junior Sailing has local young sailors and many visiting sailors throughout the summer. Their mission is to teach safety on the water, create a fun learning experience, build confidence and develop boating skills. Dillon Lake is an integral part of the local summer economy and protecting the shoreline and waterway is important to the organization. New to Reach, they are delighted to entice parents and students who want to engage their minds in the outdoor classroom, adding much-needed depth to the learning 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 for the Gorge community. With a focus on teaching sailing, the program also promotes the development of life skills such as sportsmanship, teamwork, independence and responsibility. GJS implemented its first year of Reach programming in 2021 and in 2022 will support 20 Hood River New School students through an elective Spring Reach course. They look forward to expanding their program to more local schools and home-schooled groups while training their staff in the Reach program this year.
Green Bay Sail and Paddle (Green Bay, WI) – Green Bay Sail & Paddle creates opportunities for all area youth and families of all means and abilities to safely enjoy the sports of sailing and paddling on the waters of Green Bay. In recent years they have expanded their Reach program and recently partnered with Green Bay Public Schools. This new partnership will provide an 8-week program for youth in this district. Additionally, they added more weeks of STEM camp and participated in several community events, doing Reach modules with participants.
Water Sports Programs at Henderson Harbor (Henderson Harbor, NY) – The mission of the Henderson Harbor Water Sports Program (HHWSP) is to promote learning, safety and fun on and in the water; and have a positive impact on students, the community and the environment. Their primary partner in running STEM and Reach Camps is the Henderson Town Recreation Program. Together they will provide valuable STEM training and sailing experiences to a number of young people in their community who have not had the opportunity to sail before. They will introduce students to aquatic STEM, sailing, boating safety and environmental stewardship.
Community Sailing on the Hudson River (New York, NY) – Hudson River Community Sailing (HRCS) develops leadership and academic achievement among underserved youth in New York City and provides maritime education and recreation to the community at large. HRCS has run STEM-based programming since its inception in 2008, partnering directly with public schools to offer a credited after-school program (Sail Academy) based on the math and science of sailing. Recently their City Sail summer program has expanded 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 for the natural environment. Competitive sailing and rowing requires 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. The Kitsap Sailing Foundation has been using STEM activities and the Reach program during its Learn to Sail Summer 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 Educator Course (STEM) this year and offering Sailing Through STEM events to the community.
Sail Orcas (Eastsound, WA) – Sail Orcas is a volunteer-run non-profit public charity that exists to share the joy of sailing with young people and adults alike by providing high quality instruction and easy access to boats and facilities. They strive to teach this lifelong sport by promoting safe boating, teamwork, sportsmanship, camaraderie and marine stewardship. They offer a marine science and sailing camp and a refresher regatta every year. This year they are expanding their camp with additional materials and science tools to increase the impact for their participants and help them develop a stronger sense of environmental stewardship.
Sheboygan Youth Sailing Center (Sheboygan, WI) – The mission of the Sheboygan Youth Sailing Center is to cultivate an appreciation for the sport of sailing within the Sheboygan community by developing the skills necessary to outfit and skipper a sailboat safely at a reasonable price. For six summers, they used the Reach program with the Sheboygan Area School District’s summer school program and incorporated it into their regular sailing lessons. This year they plan to expand their Reach programming through summer camps and specific events.
Sodus Bay Junior Sailing Association – Sodus Bay Junior Sailing Association (SBJSA) is committed to making the joys of sailing and other water sports accessible to all, training boaters for life, and fostering responsible eco-awareness and stewardship of their beautiful bay. of Sodus on Lake Ontario. In 2021, they introduced 300 STEM participants using the Reach modules. They are working to add more fun and creativity with the Reach modules in 2022 while allowing students to pursue their curiosity about sailing and the environment.
Click here to learn more about the US Sailing Reach Initiative and how you can get involved.