Boat Build and Sail – OST Apprenticeships
Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory
PWBF is a Philadelphia-based non-profit that uses the maritime arts and environmental education as a framework via which we offer trauma-informed interventions to youth in the Kensington, Port Richmond and Frankford areas of Philadelphia – communities that face high unemployment, low levels of education, high rates of violent crime, and below-average income levels. Core to PWBF’s methodology is a longitudinal approach that enables participants to develop trusting connections with staff and to explore, take risks and recover from failure – experiences that lead to a sense of personal agency, which is essential to improved outcomes. PWBF’s approach is rooted in Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg’s Reaching Teens curriculum, which is grounded in the seven Cs of Resiliency: Competence; Confidence; Connection; Character; Contribution; Coping and Control. Our work also reflects best practice established for key domains of social-emotional learning (emotional management, empathy, teamwork, responsibility, initiative and problem solving) articulated in Preparing Youth to Thrive, a field guide to social-emotional learning that PWBF participated in developing. With support from the Thomas J. and Majorie Gray Foundation, PWBF will expand its existing Build and Sail program, which currently offers high-school-aged youth year-round apprenticeships in traditional wooden boat building, sail making and seamanship (small-boat sailing). The program expansion will have two components: a new program initiative designed for middle-school youth will be launched and a peer-mentoring initiative will be introduced that will allow high-school youth to coach their younger peers. The decision to include younger youth and to design a component within that program specifically for them was prompted by several factors: • an appreciation for the fact that, despite demonstrable skill gains in many areas and higher than average graduation and post-secondary enrollment rates, some of our high-school-aged BBS participants and/or graduates still lag in key academic skills, deficits that could compromise their long-term success; • a belief that initiating interventions earlier in participants’ development could forestall such lingering deficits; • an awareness that success in high-school and beyond is strongly correlated to successful transitions from middle-school to high school; • an understanding that quality OST programming can help foster such success; and • knowledge that introducing a component within a pre-existing program rather than launching a separate initiative was more cost-effective giving existing organizational infrastructure and resources. The impetus for initiating a peer-mentoring component within the program, whereby high-school youth will be trained to teach and model competencies in their craft, as well as a mastery of related academic skills, is grounded in research that suggests that when older youth mentor younger youth in academic settings, both groups rise together at a pace that exceeds growth evident in situations where adult teachers, alone, are the sole educators. Planning stages for this program expansion are already underway. Potential mentors have been identified among 10th and 11th grade BBS apprentices who will be returning in PY 16-17. They are currently being trained in facilitation techniques and will work with PWBF staff to design and test the STEAM workshops that will be delivered monthly to the younger youth once the project launches. Recruitment for the expanded BBS program is being fostered by a relationship PWBF has been cementing with the Principal and key staff at William G. Harding Middle School, which currently has a Gear-Up program that works to facilitate positive transitions for Harding students into Frankford High School. A series of exposure workshops and open houses have been offered this spring to 7th graders at Harding; a two-week sailing camp will held in summer 2016 for 32 rising eighth graders.
$15,000  Closed  Inspire