Photo/Video Capture/Reach Program

New England Science & Sailing Foundation, based in Stonington, Connecticut, announced it has been distinguished as one of 5 community sailing centers in the country to launch the US Sailing REACH program that uses sailing as a platform to embrace education, establish a passion to learn, and explore productive science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-based careers. NESS Sailing Program Director Mark Zagol and Marine Science Program Director Mary Ann Horrigan were featured in the nationally released US Sailing REACH program video seen below.

The NESS program involves a partnership between NESS, New London Public Schools, US Sailing, and leadership support from the National Recreation Foundation.

The NESS partnership with US Sailing and New London Public Schools, which began in September 2012 and runs through June 2013, incorporates STEM-based learning through multiple curriculum modules that include sailing instruction, water-quality testing, and study of the complex biodiversity within Long Island Sound. As part of the program, 60 students from Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School participate in NESS education programs for the academic year, 26 weeks in total. The REACH program modules align with Common Core Standards and the K-12 Framework for Science Education for middle school students.

“US Sailing is thrilled to connect sailing centers across the country with local schools to create exciting educational opportunities for students,” said Jessica Servis, US Sailing’s REACH Program Manager. “NESS is one of the few places in the country that combines a strong marine science foundation with the great sport of sailing. NESS’s ability to connect students to their local water sheds through outdoor education and exploration exemplifies best practices and gives these children an amazing opportunity,” she said.

Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School Athletic Director Ed Sweeney said, “In the spring we brought 240 students for a taste of kayaking, sailing, and marine science at NESS. From that initial exposure, we wanted to provide students a richer, more immersive experience and we’re pleased NESS helped make this possible for 60 of our 7th grade students this year.”

In 2012, NESS completed renovations to its classroom facilities to provide year-round instruction in marine science, sailing, and adventure sports.

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