JYC Elementary Smiles Set SSL Milestone On Clipper Cove

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John Yehall Chin Elementary School Students Mark the 4,244 SSL Milestone at TISC

Combine wind, water, sailboats, hands, straws, paper, tape and life-savers with 33 John Yehall Chin Elementary School students.  Add seaweed, mix well. Check out the results – smiles, creative seaweed math, and a major SSL Milestone: the 4,244 4th grader on Clipper Cove.

The docks are out and the winds are cool on Clipper Cove these days. As we wind down a year filled with kids smiles and progress on preserving much of the Cove for future generations, we also wanted to share additional smiles and fun times that marked the seventh Set Sail Learn session since we first launched the pilot program for this unique STEM experiential learning program four years ago.

Designed to meet 4th grade California core standards, SSL is a one-day exploration trip incorporating curriculum-aligned science and math learning along with sailing on San Francisco Bay. Teachers can select lesson plans featuring Renewable Energy, Ecology of the Bay or Marine History.  The JYC day featured wind energy.

The activity center hosts half the kids for the morning session.  It combines a little bit of lecture, with most time spent on interactive discussion, design challenges and of course “finals”.img_7392

The challenge – build the fastest (or perhaps “stiffest” in sailing jargon) craft using only paper, life-savers, straws and tape.  A great time for thinking, creating, engineering and fun. img_3709-cr-cr

img_3707Unique wind cars waiting for the start of their first race.  And after the start.img_3728 img_3770

Some times the kids “crash and burn” in the activity center.  Not that different from learning life lessons (such as self confidence) in our summer session progression program.img_3735-cr img_3739-cr

Team work is stressed during the design build phase of the competition.  Another life skill also learned on the water as well.img_3701

stern horizontalSame goes for communications, goal setting and leadership – direct parallels between STEM lessons learned in the SSL activity center and life lessons learned on Clipper Cove.img_3716

water flyingimg_3742-crimg_1526-enWhile half the students are building wind cars, the other half head out to Clipper Cove. RS Venture sailboats are ideal for our “hands-on-the-bay” programs – stable, sporty and roomyimg_7599-crClipper Cove always serves up views, water and wildlife. Students, learn and experience directions, scale and mother nature.  Never sure who (or what) will swim past or fly by, but something will.img_7559 img_7456 img_7505

Smiles and “hands-in-the-water” experiences on Clipper Cove are the norm, if you’ve seen our previous SSL Blogs.  As a kid on the water, likely for the first time, how can that not be.img_7655img_7703 img_7479

This day, however, something new appeared on deck.  A “new math” based on seaweed. I didn’t have a chance to interview the creative team directly, so not sure the rules for this new system. Whatever they were, I did sense interest, attentiveness and focus.img_7509-cr

Other boats were also exploring this new math.img_7639img_7625

Here are a few more of the smiles that reflected off the Cove.img_7481

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And speaking of the cove, some

NASH BRIDGES, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Serena Scott Thomas, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Jamie Gomez, (Season 1), 1996-2001, © Rysher Entertainment

NASH BRIDGES, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Serena Scott Thomas, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Jamie Gomez, (Season 1), 1996-2001, © Rysher Entertainment

parents or grandparents may remember Nash Bridges – the detective show back in the day just before TISC was founded – mid-1990’s.  Remember these guys?

Even if you do, you may not have known their headquarters was atop the TI administration building. Overlooking both San Francisco Bay and Clipper Cove.img_7789

And what a view of the Cove !img_7740 img_7755-cr

pano-chen-img-7742At the conclusion of the Fall 2016 SSL session, 4,244 SFUSD students attended 161 Set Sail Learn classes at TISC on Clipper Cove. They represented  35 schools over the last four years. The grant received from St. Francis Sailing Foundation last fall was a game changer for TISC and SFUSD 4th graders. It officially launched the program; enabling the jump from pilot to a fully staffed program that delivers 50+ classes per year – at no charge to the schools.

The StFSF grant funds about half of the classes. TISC raises the other half through public and private grants along with individual donations.  Each SSL class costs approximately $1,500. If you are able and inclined to make an investment in the future of our children, please consider making a donation to the TISC annual fund – every donation helps no matter how much you are able to invest. If you act by December 31, 2016 your donations, up to $12,500, will be matched dollar for dollar. You can DONATE HERE.

Regards from On the cove,  Dave G

In the wake:

Thanks and a tip-of-the-hat to the parent who took the excellent photos of the “wind racers” in the activity center – much appreciated.

Also – if you are a parent, relative or teacher of a child in Jonathan Cheung’s class and would like to see more photos of their SSL day at TISC on Clipper Cove let us know and we’ll send you a password-protected link to high-res photos with more kids’ smiles. Email:   daveg (at) onclippercove (dot) com

Kids Smiles Fill Clipper Cove – TISC Instructors Rock !

IMG_4276 School’s Over. Kids are Smiling. Clipper Cove is doing its thing: developing self confidence, building life skills, creating friendships and introducing Mother Nature to kids from all over the Bay Area. TISC instructors are the catalyst for these magic moments.

June is such a great time on Clipper Cove.  And this year there’s so much happening one blog can’t even come close to covering all the action.  So we’ll tack away from adaptive and visually impaired sailing, adult keel boat lessons, the SF Social Sailing League and more, to focus on kids smiles. Check out the many ways our instructors interact, support, lead, protect, and encourage.  All ingredients for developing self-confidence, self-esteem and SMILES! IMG_4520-cr-smallMost of these photos were taken weeks 2 and 4 – the end of a two week sailing session.  Kids are tired, morning winds are often light.  Then the afternoon westerly kicks in.

Sun screen is getting lathered on. Boats are getting rigged. Many lessons start with chalk talks.IMG_3898IMG_3912

IMG_3910 Then word gets out – Time to Sail ! No more tired kids.IMG_3915

Oooppsss – not much wind.  Great – let’s just continue to hang out.  Or should I say Raft Up (some day these kids may be the ones who are Hooked on Clipper Cove).IMG_4022 IMG_4154

In addition to our youth sailing program we also sponsor outreach programs to get kids out on (and in) the water.  Up on Top kids were at TICS also enjoying all that Clipper Cove has to offer.IMG_4168 IMG_4311-EN

We tell visitors that you will always see something new when you sail on SF Bay.  We can’t predict what it will be, but you WILL see it.  Same way with photographing these kids – I never know how they will help us tell our story – teaching life lessons like respect, goal setting, communications & teamwork, self-reliance and leadership through sailing – however they’ve never let me down so far.

Respect is an element of all programs starting with orientation and continuing through 5-step progression program to level V. Goal setting also starts early because kids relate to short-term challenges like “learning to sail backwards” or “recovering from a capsize”.IMG_4187

Communications and teamwork go together on and between sailboats.  And paddle boards.IMG_3764 IMG_4109-cr IMG_4411-EN

And teamwork is always an easy story to “shoot” because kids just naturally help other kids out on the water. Age, gender, family background just doesn’t seem to matter to happy, often waterlogged, kids.IMG_4143 IMG_4145

Many urban sailing centers are located in busy harbors or on open, unprotected waters. Clipper Cove is a unique gem in all of SF Bay (some would say in the world) for learning life lessons through sailing because of its protected location with great winds and little current.  At TISC we give kids their own boat, teach them the skills needed to sail it, and let them go.IMG_3730 IMG_4208 IMG_4527

Yes, it blows hard here most afternoons. We view these as the best learning times for the kids and teaching time for the instructors.IMG_4362 IMG_4435

IMG_4520 IMG_4553And there are many learning opportunities, often ending in situations where kids “crash and burn”. And then self-rescue themselves –  –  –  IMG_3789-cr IMG_3790-cr1 IMG_3791-cr1

IMG_3736 IMG_3738 IMG_3739 IMG_3741–  –  –   all under the careful watch of TISC instructors, many who learned to sail here on Clipper Cove.  And often at the end of the day instructors lend a hand to tired sailors.IMG_3789-cr2

IMG_3806Kids love the independence and empowerment offered by sailing their own boat.  They build self-reliance and “figure it out”.  These skills last a lifetime.

And the combination of protected waters, minimal current and always-close-by instructors provides an ideal learning and confidence-building environment.IMG_4229 IMG_3746IMG_4462

Photographing leadership is not so easy.  I joked with the instructors about this photo as the more experience sailor “bailed out” then demonstrated goal setting, communications, teamwork and leadership to get cranked up for more sailing. All captured in one visual image.IMG_4157

No way to share the hundreds of Clipper Cove June smiles. Here are a few more.  If you are a parent or one of our program associates and would like to see more pictures, please contact the TISC office and they can provide access to password-protected photo folders from two June photo-shoots.

Our 5-level progression program leverages the development of sailing skills along with life skills. You can see the self-confidence shining brightly on Clipper Cove as the breeze picks up and lesson plans move from chalk talks to flat sailing.IMG_4320 IMG_4431

IMG_4212 IMG_4215 IMG_4222 More 1:1 time with our instructors.IMG_3810 IMG_3824 IMG_3841

Here are a few more Up On Top smiles, and an interesting stat why summer programs are so important.  Did you know that by high school, 67% of the cumulative achievement gap between middle-class and disadvantaged children can be explained by summer learning loss? Another reason Clipper Cove is such an important San Francisco Gem – the connection between learning to drive an RS Venture and brushing up on math and reading skills during the summer break. IMG_4123 IMG_4311-EN IMG_4356 And beach time is FUN time!IMG_4396

IMG_4404 IMG_4416Blogs have to wrap up just like fun days on Clipper Cove. More teamwork, then time to put our keyboards and rudders away.IMG_4541IMG_4567IMG_3827 IMG_3831

And a quick debrief.IMG_4570

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

The photos in this blog plus many more are available on line – check with the TISC office for links to password-protected photo folders.

And one final THANK YOU to our rock-star instructor team.  Keep smiling, and creating smiles.  Your classroom changes every few minutes. Mother Nature is awesome, even when she puffs too hard or not enough.  And remember – the kids are always learning and benefiting, even when they’re having too much fun to listen or having a “bad tack” day.  You Rock !IMG_4576-EN-faces

TISC Marks Milestone: 3,566 4th Graders on Clipper Cove

Tenderloin Elementary Class Marks 3566 SSL Students at TISC-IMG_2949-cr

Tenderloin Elementary 4th Graders Mark 3,566 SSL Students at TISC Since 2013 Launch

Treasure Island Sailing Center’s STEM Program for San Francisco elementary students reached a major milestone in May: Over 3,500 Fourth Graders have now learned, explored and sailed on Clipper Cove. The St. Francis Sailing Foundation was a major donor.

IMG_2378-cr-enIn 2013 TISC launched the pilot for a unique, STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) experiential learning program called Set Sail Learn.  This program, designed to meet 4th grade California core standards, is a one-day exploration trip incorporating curriculum-aligned science and math learning, together with sailing on San Francisco Bay.

Last October the St. Francis Sailing Foundation announced a partnership with TISC to continue the program, providing San Francisco fourth graders with the opportunity for STEM learning while opening the door to San Francisco Bay, sailing and environmental stewardship at no cost to the schools. This StFSF Fall 2015 grant was a major milestone in reaching our Spring 2016 milestone of 3,566 kids through the SSL Program.

While referred to as a “hand on” experience, Set Sail Learn is really a “hands-in” program as you can see from these photos of 4th graders from Tenderloin Elementary School.IMG_3051IMG_2818 IMG_2825 IMG_3027 IMG_3071 IMG_3157The sailing part of the program is what makes it unique.  And connects the kids to Mother Nature while establishing them as stewards of “their”  bay.  The action in and around the activity center, however,  is also a big part of the lessons. Because no chairs, plenty of physical activity and a highly interactive curriculum makes for fun, memorable learning.class IMG_2437

class IMG_2365 class IMG_2434-en-crclass IMG_2769

And the lab just outside the door to the activity center is like nothing most of the kids have ever seen or experienced. A true window onto life in, around and below the waters of San Francisco Bay.class IMG_2556

IMG_3173It’s no wonder this program has been a huge win for teachers –   –   -:

  • “Set Sail Learn engages the different learning modalities of the kids, visual, kinetic, song, dance and sailing.”
  • “I saw this program touch every part of each of my children. Thank you so much for allowing my native San Franciscans to really experience the Bay.”

IMG_2989–  –  –  and a favorite for kids:

  • “The best day of my life.”
  • “I got to steer the boat.”
  • “I’m crabby, day had to end.”

Another star of the program is Clipper Cove itself.  Same rule applies here as with all sailing on SF Bay: “you can never be sure what you’ll see, however you WILL see something swimming, floating or flying that’s a keeper for your memory banks”.IMG_2536-cr

Along with the fish and wildlife, Clipper Cove also serves up curiosity-building views of San Francisco, Yerba Buena Island (its long-time-ago name is HERE), and the new Bay Bridge super-structure.IMG_2940IMG_2440-cr IMG_2799

And boatloads of smiles are always present whenever kids are on Clipper Cove.
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IMG_2544-crOf course a bit of excitement aboard an RS Venture sailboat always goes a long way to score big with 4th graders.  In fact a number of SSL graduates have signed up for summer sailing lessons at TISC.  Interested?  You can find out more and register here.IMG_3191IMG_2968Set Sail Learn Session 5, Spring of 2016, is in the log books; our focus has now turned to summer programs.  Teachers interested in registering for the next SSL session can use this Fall 2016 SSL Registration Form.

I’ll wrap up this blog with a few statistics on our Set Sail Learn program and the number of Bay Area residents who sail, kayak and paddle board at TISC on Clipper Cove.

  • 3,566 elementary kids from 31 San Francisco public schools have attended 135 SSL classes since the program was launched in the Fall of 2013. These kids came from all 11 SF school districts.
  • Last year TISC served approximately 3,800 sailors, kayakers and paddlers.  Most from San Francisco, others from all parts of the Bay Area. All walks of life.  Nearly 15,000 over last 5 years.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Here are links to previous Set Sail Learn blogs with more smiles from San Francisco Public School kids.

 

St. Francis Sailing Foundation Grant Launches Set Sail Learn

Which blog title better says “Thanks!” while delivering kids smiles:  “The best day of my life” or “Set Sail Learn – Investing in our Children”?  How to choose between two winning teams: Lawton Elementary School and St. Francis Sailing Foundation?

IMG_9401I decided to lead with a big THANK YOU to St. Francis, recap Media Day’s events along with Lawton smiles and end with a few stats on TISC’s banner year.  So cool all this took place right here on Clipper Cove.  Even cooler – today’s blog makes a nice 2015 wrap-up given Clipper Cove is where we started back in January (Clipper Cove – Our Platform for Smiles and Self-Confidence).

On October 15th Carolyn Patrick, President of the St. Francis Sailing Foundation, announced a significant grant that officially launches TISC’s Set Sail Learn program. This unique and innovative program, first piloted in 2013, serves up core-curriculum STEM classes along with “hands-in” sailing on Clipper Cove. And it will now continue thanks to STFSF.Speakers-Carolyn IMG_9507_resize

You can read more about this major grant, the largest in STFSF history here: Press Release STFSF Grant for Set Sail Learn.   Details on the Set Sail Learn Program are here: Set Sail Learn Media Day-Fact Sheet.

There were smiles all around when excited kids from Lawton Alternative School showed up for their day at TISC. As with all SSL classes at TISC the kids are split in the morning so half can focus on the curriculum and half can sail.  After lunch they switch.Smiles arriving IMG_9387-cr-resize

Lawton chose the Renewable Energy curriculum.  Whichever course of study is chosen the teacher receives a workbook for review prior to class arrival. All classes work in math and science.TISC Curriculum IMG_9347_resize workbook IMG_9554_resize

With plenty of time for interactive discussion.  So rewarding to see fourth graders so “into” our environment.class discussion IMG_9567_resize class overview IMG_9559_resize

Action highlight for this module is always the “windboat” races.  Teams of two design and build their craft.windboat building IMG_9624_resize windboat building IMG_9627_resize windboat building IMG_9630_resize

The races are the most fun . . .windboat racing IMG_9635_resize – – – and exciting !windboat racing IMG_9640_resize

More smiles as the kids prepare to leave the dock.  A majority of SSL students experience their first time on the water here at TISC on Clipper Cove.IMG_9426_resize IMG_9434_resize

Feeling the water as it passes by is always the sailing highlight.  All part of creating passionate stewards to help care for San Francisco Bay for decades to come. A true “hands-in” experience for 2,940 SFUSD fourth graders so far.hand 2 in water IMG_9593_resize hands 1 in water IMG_9622_resize hands 3 in water IMG_9612_resize

More smiles from kids sailing out on Clipper Cove. 110 SFUSD classes from 27 schools have participated in SSL to date.   IMG_9546_resize IMG_9574_resize

Other key speakers at SSL Media day included Carisa Harris-Adamson Chair of the TISC Board of Directors, V. Fei Tsen Chair of the Treasure Island Development Authority Board of Directors and Sean Svendsen Commodore of the St. Francis Yacht Club.  If only I had recorded the laughs and excited chatter from Clipper Cove that backstopped our dedication speakers. Speakers- Carisa IMG_9496_resize Speakers- V. Fei IMG_9502_resize Speakers-Sean IMG_9514_resize

We never know which guests will join SSL classes, however “someone” always does.  On this day the kids saw pelicans and gulls.visitors - pelican IMG_9377 visitors - pelican IMG_9604_resize

Our RS Ventures framed by Clipper Cove with San Francisco in the back ground make a nice segue into our banner year at TISC. Notice the many (do you see all ten) hands in Clipper Cove !Three RS V on Clipper Cove IMG_9473_resize RSV framed by SF IMG_9445_resize

Today’s many smiles added to our 2015 totals:

  • TISC awarded over $160,000 of scholarships to under-served Youth and Adaptive Sailors
  • Our team delivered over 25,000 hours of instruction spread over 2,300 class spaces.  The break-down of kids attending each segment of our programs was:
    • 1338  Set Sail Learn
    • 596    Group Orientations
    • 123    1 Week Summer Camp
    • 167    2 Week Summer Camp
    •  87     Adaptive Sailors

“The best day of my life” or “Set Sail Learn – Investing in our Children”?  Happiness is being able to have the flexibility and space to use both 🙂IMG_9645_resize SSL Banner IMG_9349_resize

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

As we end 2015 our team is conducting a fund raising drive for 2016 scholarships. Here is the link, and we appreciate all donations no matter how small. Learn More or Donate Now.

Here are links to previous Set Sail Learn blogs with more smiles and lessons learned.

 

Now THIS is the Life!

Classic comment heard on the dock as Guadalupe Elementary kids ended their “hands-in” Bay Sail: “Now THIS is the life”.  These fourth graders plotted crab populations in our activity center and wind & tides on Clipper Cove.

IMG_5600My planned work day turned into a bonus photo shoot with the kids when Guadalupe Elementary School arrived for a Set Sail Learn (SSL) class at TISC on May 5th.  Trading a power washer wand for camera shutter is always a good deal in my book.  Especially on a picture-perfect day with a nice breeze and near-ideal lighting.

First order of business for SSL classes, after their safety orientation, is to split into two groups. For their Ecology of the Bay study group one started with an active learning session and plenty of student participation.IMG_5470

They simulated ten years of crab population using a “crabby” game. The focus can change from class to class – the Guadalupe kids took turns selecting a “crab” with a huge pincer arm to see how that might affect population and adaptation.  Tables make for great temporary crab housing.IMG_5399IMG_5478

Prior to arriving at TISC teachers are provided with workbooks kids review in advance, a key ingredient of the experiential STEM learning experience. Treasure Island Sailing Center provides SSL classes at no charge to SFUSD fourth graders – 2,300 students since the fall of 2013.IMG_9763-booklet feinstein-cr

A few “hands in the water” photos are a regular feature of the SSL classes and outreach programs at TISC.  Guadalupe Elementary kids really connected with Mother Nature – even more than I’ve noticed in the past.

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Giving fourth graders the opportunity to touch and feel the waters of SF Bay certainly does provide the best “hands-in” experience possible.  The kids couldn’t get enough and we feel all future “Bay Stewards” benefit from these touching connections.IMG_5511-cr

This particular day at least one seal was spotted and the kids were on the lookout for others.  Sea gulls are almost always flying about on Clipper Cove.IMG_5597

IMG_5577-crLearning about direction and major landmarks is easy with the 853′ tall Transamerica Pyramid to the west and the Port of Oakland cranes to the south.IMG_5591

IMG_5525TISC is full and by into our summer programs now that Set Sail Learn classes have ended for the spring.  SSL students are encouraged to continue at TISC in one of the many on-the-water programs available this summer.  Check out our Registration Page for additional information.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

SSL Classes are finished for the Spring of 2015.  They will resume in the Fall.  Watch for registration updates  HERE. You can read a program brochure.

If you are a parent or teacher at Guadalupe and would like to have access to the hi-res version of the photos above – and many more -please contact the TISC office (tiscprograms@tisailing.org) or send along an email to me:
daveg at onclippercove dot com.

You can read about other TISC SSL Classes below: