Sailing Organizations Awarded Grants for US Sailing REACH Program Education

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (March 22, 2013) – Through the support of the John B. and Nelly Llanos Kilroy Foundation, US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport, has awarded eight sailing centers with grants to facilitate the implementation of REACH, US Sailing’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education program, to over 600 middle school students throughout the country.

REACH is a national education initiative utilizing sailing as an educational platform, enabling middle school aged youth of all backgrounds to embrace education, establish a love of learning and enhance career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. The program has demonstrated student growth in the STEM content areas as well as increasing the ability of students to apply skills to real life problem solving.

“US Sailing is looking to do our part to increase STEM literacy so that all students can learn deeply and think critically in science, math, engineering, and technology,” said Jack Gierhart, Executive Director of US Sailing. “Sailing provides students with a vehicle for exploration and innovation.”

Grants were awarded to the applicants below who exhibited innovative, evidence-based program activities designed to increase the participation and academic achievement of students in STEM with a focus on at risk youth and underserved populations. The following sailing organizations received the grant:

  • DC Sail based in Washington, D.C. will work with 200 plus students through their Kids Set Sail program.
  • Milwaukee Community Sailing Center in Milwaukee, W.I. will work with two middle schools on Lake Michigan.
  • Community Boating – Boston (Mass.), will work with approximately 100 students through their environmental science program.
  • SUNY Maritime located in the Bronx, N.Y. will implement REACH to over 100 students and provide professional development to educators.
  • Sea Affinity (Md.) will be working with the Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore.
  • Hudson River Community Sailing (N.Y.) will work with 60 students through the City Sail Scholarship Program and their partnerships with the Urban Assembly network of schools, and the Experiential Learning and Outward Bound Schools.
  • The Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, R.I. will work with 50 students through their STEM Academy leveraging their resources in boat design and construction.
  • Community Boating Center – Providence (R.I.) will continue working with the Boys and Girls Club of Providence and PASA serving students in the spring, summer, and fall of 2013.

Together these programs will educate approximately 600 students. The REACH Program works with over 20 community partners and three national programs by engaging students in STEM education, environmental stewardship and the great sport of sailing.

An informal assessment of 182 middle school students from two REACH pilot programs in urban areas revealed successes in the several areas:

  • Students demonstrated an 11% increase in content knowledge of STEM related topics.
  • 75% of students showed an increase in confidence of STEM subject matter including physics, marine science, chemistry, engineering, robotics, algebra, trigonometry, and geometry.
  • Approximately 50% students reported they gained skills in the following areas: recording data, using data to create a graph, applying skills to real life problems and situations.

Since the program launch in November of 2012, over 200 schools and organizations plan to implement REACH worldwide including programs in Kennedy Town, Hong Kong and Tasmania, Australia.

The REACH program connects educators, sailing instructors, engineers, 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. The REACH program through the leadership of US Sailing provides resources, connections and national partnerships to support organizations, and individuals that utilize sailing as an educational tool connecting youth nationwide to the sport of sailing.

For more information on the REACH program, visit http://www.reach.ussailing.org.

For questions regarding the REACH program, please contact US Sailing’s Jessica Servis at jessicaservis@ussailing.org.

Contact: Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications Manager, jakefish@ussailing.org

About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.