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Sea-At-School Program Offers Students Lessons in Sailing, Life

Feb. 24, 2008 — A seagoing school program has drawn praise from Gov. John deJongh Jr., who spoke recently at a ceremony marking a partnership between the V.I. Department of Education and the schooner Roseway, operated by the World Ocean School.
"In speaking with students aboard Roseway recently, I was encouraged by the excitement and passion they share in learning about navigation and sailing systems, as well as other core subjects taught while at sea," deJongh said, according to a Government House news release. "Working in cooperation with the V.I. Department of Education, we are proud to support this creative learning opportunity that provides students with a view of alternate career paths available to young people in the territory, while also providing solid course instruction in an open classroom setting."
Joining the governor at the ceremony were Abby Kidder of the World Ocean School; Deputy Superintendent Maria A. Encarnacion, who represented Superintendent Gary Molloy; and designated Commissioner LaVerne Terry from Education. A few students from Arthur A. Richards Junior High School who have participated in the school-at-sea program also attended.
The Roseway effectively operates as a school at sea, holding lessons and providing course instruction for seventh grade students from middle schools throughout St. Croix. School aboard the Roseway began Feb. 7 and will conclude May 9. Class "sessions at sea" run twice a day, and students are grouped into sets of 25 for the morning and afternoon sails, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The program runs for one week per student. Participating this semester are seventh grade students from Arthur A. Richards Junior High, Elena Christian Junior High and John H. Woodson Junior High schools.
Students aboard Roseway learn team-building skills throughout the week and are taught lessons in science, environmental and climate change, math, history, English, arts leadership and communications. Lesson plans also include coursework in navigation; message coding and decoding; sea chart, compass, and map reading; history of pirates, the Caribbean, and Roseway-era boats; journaling; and hands-on sailing lessons. Many students have already expressed a desire to continue to learn more about oceangoing vessels similar to Roseway, as well as potentially pursuing a career in sailing.
"This partnership agreement allows St. Croix students to participate in a unique opportunity that allows for hands-on, real-world experience that they can use as a foundation for future learning and other life opportunities," deJongh said. "I am also pleased to acknowledge the Roseway's home-porting status on St. Croix. It is truly an honor to celebrate with them today."
The World Ocean School is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide educational programs focused on community building for young people aboard Roseway. The program provides junior high school instruction to local youth on St. Croix in the winter and spring, and operates sessions along the Northern Atlantic for high school students in the summer.
Built in 1925 in Essex, Mass., Roseway has had an adventurous 82 years as a fishing vessel in the Grand Banks, a pilot boat in Boston harbor, a Coast Guard reserve vessel during World War II, and as a windjammer along the coast of Maine. To add to her career, she is now part of the World Ocean School.
Information about the World Ocean School can be found at worldoceanschool.org.
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