The kids from Jefferson Elementary studied Marine History and smiled a lot. Their comments and questions about sailing and history were engaging and non-stop – in the TISC activity center and while sailing on Clipper Cove.
I have a new sure-fire way to select titles for Set Sail Learn blogs – just ask the kids. “Can you please give me six words that describe your day here at TISC” usually works like a champ. One smiling fourth immediately replied “I got to steer the boat.” Bingo- blog title.
Always nice to see self-confidence in so many kids who in general have not been on San Francisco Bay, certainly have not sailed or actually touched the water and in many cases have not been over the Bay Bridge.
After introduction, paperwork is passed and safety drills are completed. Then kids are split into two groups. While first group departs our dock for Clipper Cove the second spend time in the activity center on the day’s lesson.
TISC provides workbooks in advance of each class. They cover Renewable Energy, Ecology of the Bay or Marine History depending on which curriculum was selected by their teacher. Jefferson selected Marine History.
We used the term “activity center” or “learning center” to describe the inside space where SSL and other classes meet. Classroom seems too formal, we have stand-up tables not desks, and sitting down is not part of our curriculum.Sailing on Clipper Cove provides SFUSD fourth graders the opportunity to touch the water, feel the wind, and truly connect to our environment. We feel this type of hands-on is one of the best ways to instill stewardship into the minds and bodies who will one day bring their families sailing and boating on Clipper Cove, SF Bay and other great playgrounds.
These fourth graders may some day attend UC Berkeley and look up at the iconic clock tower. Or they may sail down to Alameda and see the massive container ships being unloaded. The huge Bay Bridge tower is clearly visible from the TISC dock. The camera lens can be deceiving, often giving the impression of sailing much closer to these SF landmarks that are so visible from Clipper Cove.
Sailing on Clipper Cove also provides fourth graders with the opportunity to see our world from a different perspective. For example looking up at the Bay Bridge tower rather than down onto San Francisco Bay.
Of course no matter which direction the boats are heading the kids are clearly happy. Smiles are standard issue for kids in boats. Here are more Clipper Cove smiles: July Smiles On Clipper Cove.
Other classes have studied about renewable energy and the ecology of the bay. Here’s the story behind “the crab is in” sign in the activity center: JYC Kids’ Crabby Day at TISC.
By the time we finish the Fall 2015 Set Sail Learn classes at the end of this month more than 3,000 San Francisco Unified School District fourth graders will have benefited from the TISC Set Sail Learn Program.
Regards, from on the Cove, Dave G
In the Wake:
Here are links to previous SSL blogs with more smiles and lessons learned.