Improving Grade School With Sailing
Published on October 20th, 2015
Thousands of city fourth graders are enjoying a new twist on science and math lessons while learning basic principles of sailing as part of Set Sail Learn, an engaging classroom experience on San Francisco Bay made possible by a significant grant from the St. Francis Sailing Foundation.
Children from 28 public schools in San Francisco are learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) both on the water through sailing as well as in a hands-on classroom at the Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC). For some of the children, this engaging environment is their first encounter with the city’s greatest natural resource, San Francisco Bay.
“Set Sail Learn is an innovative initiative engaging fourth graders to learn about all things related to San Francisco Bay as well as the basic principles of sailing,” said Carolyn Patrick, President of the St. Francis Sailing Foundation.
“This is an investment in the future of our city’s children,” Patrick continued. “Many of the city’s school children are being exposed to the Bay for the first time, opening doors to learning in a stimulating, natural and fun environment. St. Francis Sailing Foundation is proud to partner with Treasure Island Sailing Center to make this program possible.”
“Access to the Bay provides an exciting way to learn STEM principles,” said Carisa Harris-Adamson, Chair of TISC Board of Directors, the non-profit community sailing center that developed Set Sail Learn. “Thanks to the vision of St. Francis Sailing Foundation, we now have the necessary funding to provide innovative school lessons while also introducing many of the children to sailing for the first time.
“Children who show interest in the sport from this introduction can continue sailing in our after school or summer programs, which offer scholarships to thousands of children each year.”
“Set Sail Learn engages the different learning modalities of the kids, visual, kinetic, song, dance and sailing,” said fourth grade teacher Joi Jackson of the San Francisco Unified School District. “I saw this program touch every part of each of my children. Thank you so much for allowing my native San Franciscans to really experience the Bay.”
Set Sail Learn runs Monday-Thursday from 9am-1:00pm at the Treasure Island Sailing Center. Twenty-four classes are participating in the first half of the school year. A typical day consists of classroom learning on topics such as Ecology of the Bay, Power of the Wind or Maritime Math & History followed by an on-the-water sailing session in RS Venture boats.
The city helped identify seed funding for a pilot program in Fall, 2013. Thanks to a significant grant from the St. Francis Sailing Foundation, TISC in partnership with San Francisco Public Schools is offering Set Sail Learn as fourth grade curriculum.
St. Francis Sailing Foundation
The St. Francis Sailing Foundation (StFSF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with the general mission to raise and grant money to deserving sailors and organizations that promote sailing, racing competition and maritime education.
StFSF supports organizations that put thousands of underserved youth and disabled sailors on the water in enrichment programs that teach sailing, life lessons, and science utilizing sailing. Set Sail Learn is the largest program ever sponsored by StFSF.
StFSF also promotes competitive sailing and US Olympic Sailing Team development, with support of serious Olympic athletes, beginning Olympic hopefuls, and junior sailors.
Treasure Island Sailing Center
A non-profit 501c3 organization, Treasure Island Sailing Center’s mission is to improve our community and the sport of sailing by providing access, facilities, and sailing instruction, STEM education and life skills development to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, skill levels, and physical abilities. TISC, a yearround sailing school and education center on the San Francisco Bay, has no membership requirements and emphasizes full community involvement by offering unlimited scholarships to those in financial need. TISC never turns a child or adult away. Over our fifteen-year history, TISC has engaged over 13,000 participants in the joy of sailing and provided over 70% of our students with full scholarships over the years, including 90% last year.
Report by Jane Eagleson.