July 16, 2001 — Students in the Frederiksted Community Boating program recently completed requirements for basic pram sailing.
Under the guidance of instructors Wilfred "Bomba" Allick and Susan Allick, students completed two weeks of classes that included reading, writing, videos, simulations and putting theory into practice on the water off of St. Croix’s west end. The wooden prams were built at the St. Croix Vocational School by the marine carpentry class with teacher Frank Cousins.
The fledgling sailors tacked and jibed around a triangular course that forced them to sail in all directions while making proper adjustments with the tiller, sails and placement of body weight in the boats, said Susan Allick.
"I believe it accelerates cognitive development because the children are applying new concepts while paying attention to subtle changes in wind speed and direction and making corrections with the equipment," Allick said. "It is a relatively inexpensive way to utilize our natural environment while introducing students to physics, marine and environmental sciences, and promoting enjoyment of the beaches."
Safety is the number-one consideration, Allick said, and class curriculum also includes discussing responsible use of the beaches without leaving glass, cans, diapers and other trash behind.
The program is funded by the 24th Legislature through an iniative by Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen. The next summer session begins Aug. 6 through 17 at Sprat Hall Beach. For more information, call FCB at 772-2482.

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