Just a test post to see how this looks!
From June 24th to July 19th, one of our most exciting programs happens each summer- the Worcester Partnership. Through this exciting collaboration between Bancroft School, Regatta Point, and the Elm Park Community School, students spend two weeks engaging in a day of academics focused on engaging in hands on curriculum, and then half the day out on the lake working on sailing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Although the Worcester Partnership targets students from first to ninth grade, Regatta Point brings the sixth and seventh grade students out on the water during the afternoons during this crucial transition to middle school. The site teacher from Bancroft describes the program as “a wonderful way for the students to have a good time with their friends while still doing “school” and allows them to learn through experience.”
The Worcester Partnership began in 2003 to help students combat “Summer Slide” and to help students foster independent learning skills. Lake Quinsigamond is a great place for this to happen- as the experiential education throughout these weeks helps them work as problem solvers, and to challenge themselves physically and mentally. Having the same students come each year really allows them to build a community of learners. (not to mention as boaters!) This program is mostly funded by donations and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.
Outside of Regatta Point headquarters, you can see a dozen small sailboats captained by even smaller sailors, tacking and jibing between two buoys, training for races later in the week. Every boat is focusing on something slightly different- our Junior Sailors are hiking halfway out of the boat, the back of their hats splashing into the water, as they try and keep as close to the wind as possible. Other boats are running downwind, (No jib necessary!) captained by students as young as 7 years old. Here in the doldrums of July, the waterfront is really alive- campers are pushing themselves to grow as sailors and as learners, and the programs are thrving.
What makes this time at Regatta Point so special is the huge variety of groups and people who find their way to our organization. Last week, 20 soon to be freshman at North High School came down (from less than two miles away) for team building, sailing, and paddle sports. These students build skills, kayak and paddle board all the way across the lake- preparing for high school by exploring the different opportunities and options that this community provided. This is a program close to my heart- as a North High teacher, I know these freshmen are going to be all the more prepared for the challenges that High School has to offer due to this empowering program.
That same week, students from the Worcester Partnership took part in their second year of programming with us at Regatta Point- watching their skills and confidence building on the water really inspires the staff of RPCS. Learn more about this amazing partnership in our “Program Spotlight” in this newsletter.
At the same time- youth aren’t the only ones learning here at Regatta Point! Our adult sailing programs help all members of the Worcester Community who are willing to push themselves to expand their relationship with the water through beginning and advanced sailing programs. These programs help adults learn new skills and get out there in nature.
Our summer programming really demonstrates how important of a resource this organization is for our community. Come down to see students of all ages challenge themselves to learn how to rig and sail a boat, or paddle over the 7 miles around the lake, or even just step foot in a boat for the first time ever, and it is clear that these programs are opening up new avenues of empowerment for citizens of this city. Keep posted on all the different events, camps, and opportunities to get out on the water this summer, and see these powerful programs in action!