Community Sailing Center awarded $75,000 grant
The Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center was recently awarded a $75,000 grant by Jane’s Trust of Boston, Mass. The funds are being earmarked for an initiative aimed at further developing and formalizing its educational and training programs, which have seen a steady increase in demand as the Sailing Center approaches its 20th birthday in 2014.
“The Education and Training Initiative couples the Sailing Center’s mission to provide educational and recreational opportunities to the greater Burlington with an innovative, experiential-education curriculum,” said Kate Neubaeur, Executive Director of the Community Sailing Center. “The Initiative addresses specific community needs while using lake recreation like sailing and paddling as a vehicle. The pilot programs have been very successful and we are eager to make improvements to increase their reach and impact in our community.”
With the help of key community partners, the Sailing Center’s programs served over 1,200 youth and adults in 2011. There are four specific programs that are part of the education and training initiative. Each program focuses on a critical issue: the Floating Classroom Program, the LeaderSHIP Program, Women in Wind and the Adaptive Watersports Program. The Floating Classroom Program serves students from schools in Northern Vermont, and is specifically designed to address the gap between traditional and applied learning, as it currently exists in science education. The LeaderSHIP Program focuses on under-served youth populations, including homeless youth, refugees, and at-risk youth served by our non-profit partners. The Women in Wind Program addresses challenges faced by adolescent girls in Vermont. The Adaptive Watersports Program addresses the need for increased opportunities for affordable adaptive physical education.
“We are very fortunate to have an incredible array of collaborative partners committed to helping the Community Sailing Center provide enhanced learning opportunities,” explained Neubauer. “Combining efforts with other organizations and youth service providers in Chittenden County is a win-win for everyone involved. It amplifies our efforts and helps us all foster a better community.”
In particular, the grant will enhance program curriculum by improving program evaluation methods, aid in the continued development of risk-management protocols and establish best practices in experiential and sailing education.
“This funding is coming at a crucial time," said Marc Sherman, President of the Board of Directors. “The education and training programs provide tremendous value and service to local youth and families. The resources will enable us to foster the growth and improvement of these unique programs. In addition to tackling social issues, the Community Sailing Center’s programs help to address an increasingly important issue for Vermont – the health of Lake Champlain. Its improvement is vital to the future of our community and our organization.”