SCHOOL IS WHERE THE KIDS ARE
The sailing vessel provides an educational venue, rich in potential for the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are both necessary for the education of today's youth, which may difficult to for some youth to grasp in the classroom. It is effective with those youths who are not coping well with the demands of society and are at risk of dropping out of school and/or the quest for a successful and productive life. The education coupled with a sailing experience enriches, validates, challenges and enhance the conventional school curricula. Science, mathematics, physics, biology, geography, history, literature come to life in this real world classroom without creating a mind of resitance. Students don't even realize they're engaged in a curricula learning environment, this growth sequence of developing skills: Awareness, Understanding, Communication, Cooperation, and Teamwork. At the same time the students' attitudes mature in: Persistence, Patience, Endurance, Courage, and Caution. This program gives them real-life experience in: problem solving, decision making, planning, self reliance, and leadership. Not only is this an impressive list of outcomes for any educational endeavor, it is demonstrably cost effective to achieve these goals with sailing vessels.
Participants and Program Cost
During the 2011-2012 school year, the TopSail Youth Program provided tallship education to more than 2,500 young people from 33 different schools and youth orgainzations.Our volunteers logged over 30,000 hours. The Program’s primary focus is under-served youth in Middle and High School, 6th – 12th grade, but is flexible enough that we can offer it to any school or organized youth group, regardless of income, race, ethnicity or social status. We can adjust it to fit to the age or ability of any participant weighing 70 pounds or more (a safety requirement related to life jacket sizes). It is also important that adult leaders accompanying the group are prepared to be active participants.
Our vessels can each accommodates up to 28 participants on overnight voyages and up to 35 participants on day sails. Program cost for youth groups are $1700 per day for day sails and $2000 per day on voyages. Groups are responsible for food and options are part of the planning with each group. While we strive not to turn any group away for lack of funding, we can only exist if each group pays at least what they can realistically afford to offset the program cost incurred when poviding our program.