Volvo Ocean Race Newport Launches Educational Program

Published on November 13th, 2014

Newport, RI (November 13, 2014) – Sail Newport announced the launch of a national education program with an online learning site linking the Volvo Ocean Race with K-12 classrooms. The Volvo Ocean Race started in October and continues on a global route with a stopover in North America May 5-17, 2015 in Newport, RI. The program will link students with the race by offering lesson plans at no cost to participating schools on such topics as geography and culture, marine science, math, sustainability, navigation, sailing, art, ocean conservation, currents and weather. In addition, schools will have the opportunity for a destination field trip to the Newport Stopover.

Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport and director of the Stopover announced that Newport school teacher Donna Kelly, and Sailors for the Sea President R. Mark Davis, will co-chair the educational program.

Co-Chair Kelly says, “Our goal is to educate and inspire children not just about the sport of sailing, but about the world’s oceans, their climates, and to discover the continents and cultures across the world. The experience allows students to virtually travel with the sailors as they circumnavigate the earth which will be an amazing virtual journey for all ages. I am honored to help spread the message on behalf of the teams and the sailors.”

Read also announced that Sail Newport will collaborate with other non-profits to create the “Blue Zone” for visiting students at the Volvo Ocean Race Stopover next spring.

“I am thrilled to co-chair the education program for the Newport stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race,” noted Davis. “This program will focus on core curriculum topics such as geography, science, sustainability and math through the lens of the world’s toughest race. We are also excited to invite students to Ft. Adams in May to connect them with their local waters while studying the ocean as the boats race around the world.”

Joining Sail Newport for the educational program content will be such organizations as National Geographic, 11th Hour Racing, Sailors for the Sea, US Sailing’s REACH Program, New England Science and Sailing, Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry and the University of Rhode Island.

The school and web-based program will lead up to the opening of the marine education Blue Zone to be located at the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover Sailing Village in Fort Adams State Park. Inside the Blue Zone, students will participate with interactive displays and exhibits showcasing marine-based programming and modules related to ocean conservation, sailing, weather and sustainability.

In the New England region, leaders from the educational program are visiting classrooms to make presentations on the race and the marine-based programming. Newport’s Pell School, Thompson Middle School and the East Bay Met School have all hosted presentations and plan to host additional events. Many more school visits will be made by educators and Stopover leaders as the as the race proceeds over the fall, winter and spring.

Also, to further link the educational program to the race, the website will also have daily updates from the ocean race including news, photographs, videos and interviews with the sailors. Recently, fourth grade students from Newport submitted questions to Team Alvimedica. e communications. A Skype call from the Pell School will link students directly with sailors from Team Alvimedica who will talk about the first leg, Cape Town experiences and will answer questions from the students.

Read said, “We want to connect regional students with the natural resource of Narragansett Bay and the world’s oceans. The sailboat race is exciting as a sporting event on its own, but the opportunity to engage students of all ages to explore and conserve the ocean is our key focus in the educational program for schools across the nation.”

For further information,, email Brad Read at

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