Not Your Average School Day at Sail All
Friday August 5, 2016 - Kingston, ON
Sail All gets students away from their desks and out of their classrooms with its school sailing program. This program gives students a break from their normal coursework, and brings classes from local schools to a nearby yacht club for a day of sailing, at no charge to the students or their schools. Sail All implemented this program in twelve schools this year, amassing over 500 participants from Grades 5-7.
Sail All, based out of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, operates out of three clubs: Lunenburg Yacht Club, Hubbards Sailing Club, and Bedford Basin Yacht Club. Instructors from the respective clubs visit classes to give a briefing prior to the actual day of sailing. This helps prepare the students, and also maximizes sailing time. “It’s a pleasure to have Sail All at Lunenburg Yacht Club,” says Adrienne O’Connor, head instructor at Lunenburg Yacht Club. “It’s surprising to see how many kids have never stepped foot on a sailboat, especially in an area that lives on the water. Sail All gives these children the opportunity to experience sailing in a safe, inviting, and fun environment.”
As O’Connor mentions, despite the fact that many of the participants live right next to the ocean, the school sailing program often offers them their first sailing experience, and sometimes even first time out on the water. Sailing plays a large part in the heritage in Nova Scotia, and Sail All is the first program in the area to consistently give students the opportunity to go sailing.
The school sailing program is offered to Grades 5-7 in the final months of the school year. Typically, in-class presentations take place in the first two weeks of May, and then sailing occurs through the last two weeks of May and the first three weeks of June.
Sail All has received incredibly positive feedback about the program, and it has proved to be a hit in the classroom: “The program was fun and we loved learning how to sail! I hope we can do it next year!” Says one Grade 5 participant. In fact, Sail All has begun offering supplementary programs to help keep those that participate involved in sailing, including after-school sailing that begins in June, and evening sailing for the whole family.