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July 1, 2009

Students Build New Skills While Preparing for a Trip of a Lifetime

The staff of the Spirit of South Carolina teach CCSD students about the ship and sailing while reinforcing key concepts of the district's core curriculum.The South Carolina Maritime Foundation is currently offering the 21st Century Spirit Ocean Adventure summer program for 37 Charleston County School District (CCSD) rising high school students.  The participants are attending five weeks of lessons at the Charleston Maritime Center.  These lessons will prepare them for a trip to New York City where they will engage in an eight-day voyage aboard the 140-foot tall ship the Spirit of South Carolina along Long Island Sound and Block Island Sound.  The students all attend Title I schools, and the program is funded through a 21st Century Community Learning Center Summer Enrichment grant. 

Students board the Spirit of South Carolina. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity allows the teenagers to be challenged mentally and physically.  It reinforces key concepts of the district's academic core curriculum and includes hands-on lessons about career exploration, technology, mathematics, social studies, and science—while it maintains strong emphases on literacy and drop-out prevention.  Students also learn skills related to team-building, communication, community service, and problem-solving.  In addition, each participant takes two weeks of swimming lessons, and students who previously could not swim have learned how.  On June 30 and July 1, the students went on a day sailing trip during which they applied the skills they have been learning. 

Students prepare for trip on the Spirit of South Carolina.Each week, family members are invited to attend a Parent Night.  These events promote family engagement and encourage the participants' loved ones to learn more about the program.  The Parent Night held on Wednesday, July 1 allowed family members to tour the ship and the students to convey what they have been experiencing.   On August 6, the South Carolina Maritime Foundation will host the final Parent Night event.  In addition to family members and the media, all of the community and business partners that have contributed to the program will be invited to attend.  Students will share a PowerPoint presentation and reflect on the impact of the program.

To learn more about the 21st Century Spirit Ocean Adventure program, please contact Project Director Sarah Piwinski or Assistant Project Director Matt McDonnell at (843)722-1030.

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