mbership - American Sail Training Association

ASTA Awards $120,000 for Sail Training
Grants Secured by American Sail Training Association Members

The American Sail Training Association (ASTA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the second year of competitive grants under ASTA's Tall Ships® Youth Adventure program. ASTA's program is supported by a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) of the United States Department of Justice.

Tall Ships® Youth Adventure is a leadership and youth development program for young people, ages 12 to 18, who train together aboard large, traditionally rigged sailing vessels.  Boys and girls from underserved communities experience sail training aboard tall ships to build character and leadership skills as part of the ship's crew.

The grant recipients were selected from an independent grant review panel. .Review panel members included tall ship captains, education specialists, a sociology professor, and a youth services leader at the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families.

Four ASTA member organizations, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority of Aberdeen, Washington; Living Classrooms Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland; Ocean Classroom Foundation, Boothbay Harbor, Maine; and Sound Experience, Port Townsend, Washington, will each receive $30,000 via ASTA's Tall Ships® Youth Adventure program.

Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority owns and operates two tall ships, Lady Washington, the Official Ship of the State of Washington, and Hawaiian Chieftain. Twenty-five rural, at-risk youth (ages 12-17) will sail on the ships learning conflict resolution skills, moral reasoning, and shipboard discipline.  The participants will acquire seamanship and leadership skills required to operate the traditionally rigged ships while sailing among the San Juan Islands.

Living Classrooms Foundation will serve 25 at-risk girls from Essex, Maryland.  Aboard the 104' schooner Lady Maryland, the participants will work together in groups to stand watch and fulfill steering and lookout duties.  During ten days of sail-training, the group will sail in the Chesapeake Bay where the girls will build leadership and communication skills transferable to their lives ashore.

Ocean Classroom Foundation will provide a sail training program crafted to promote responsibility and cooperation through the successes and challenges of each shipboard activity.  Twenty-one middle and high school at-risk students from coastal Maine will become sail trainees aboard the schooner Westward and make overnight passages on the Atlantic Ocean.

Sound Experience will deliver a ten-day Tall Ships® program for 25 high school girls from greater Tacoma, Washington.  Identified in partnership with the Girl Scouts, the at-risk youth will sail throughout the Puget Sound aboard the 133' historic wooden schooner Adventuress.  The sail training program incorporates youth development and environmental objectives to help build a trainee's character while she explores the natural world and a maritime career.

Otto Loggers, ASTA Education Director said, "The grant funds will be used to implement juvenile delinquency prevention programs aboard tall ships.  Youth participating in sail training activities show measurable improvements in social confidence and their ability to work with others, which was documented in a recent study conducted by the University of Edinburgh.  The funding will provide at-risk youth with a ship-board experience where they'll have a chance to feel proud of themselves.  ASTA will use this program as an opportunity to refine best practices for under-served youth in an at-sea situation."

In 2007, ASTA's Tall Ships® Youth Adventure program provided funding to seven sail training programs serving at-risk youth in Providence, RI; Baltimore, MD; Bay City, MI; New York City, NY; Norfolk, VA; Philadelphia, PA; and Sausalito, CA.  Mr. Loggers said, "These programs provide challenging experiences for the trainees.  They bond with their shipmates through working together on demanding but rewarding tasks, and each has the chance to take on leadership roles.  The tall ship experience builds positive social skills, as each student feels the pride in grasping real-world, hands-on skills."

Captain Eric Shaw, ASTA Principal Investigator and board member said, "This year, well over 100 under-privileged, under-served and at-risk youth from both the US East and West Coasts will have the tall ship experience that has been shown to change lives for the better.  A key goal of the program is to increase sail training organizations' abilities to serve at-risk youth and prevent youth from entering the juvenile justice system."

The American Sail Training Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on youth education, leadership development and the preservation of the maritime heritage of North America. ASTA membership includes more than 250 tall ships and sail training vessels, representing more than 26 US states and 30 countries around the globe. ASTA organizes the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® annual series of sail training races, rallies and maritime festivals.  ASTA also manages scholarship programs to make sail training experiences more affordable for young people, grant programs such as Tall Ships® Youth Adventure, and publishes SAIL TALL SHIPS! A Directory of Sail Training and Adventure at Sea.

Tall Ships America • 221 3rd St., Bldg. 2, Ste. 101• Newport, RI 02840 USA • (401) 846-1775 • asta@tallshipsamerica.org