Home News Local news Not for Profit: World Ocean School

Not for Profit: World Ocean School


Jan. 28, 2007 — Sailing, sailing. The World Ocean School has sailed into the Virgin Islands in hopes of teaching high school students the art of sailing and the virtues of teamwork.
According to executive director Abby Kidder, the World Ocean School was "established to provide challenging educational programs for youth and adults around the world by fostering an appreciation for, and obligation to, community and relationships; developing a deep commitment to ethical values; and cultivating an expanded world view."
The school originally wanted to dock its 137-foot schooner, Roseway, on St. John. But when Kidder and her crew decided to take a fun trip to the big island, they decided to stay there. "There was so much support and enthusiasm in St. Croix," Kidder says, adding that they are considering the possibility of making St. Croix the school's new home.
The Roseway was originally designed to be a Grand Banks fishing schooner in 1925 and served as a pilot vessel during World War II. Boasting 5400 square feet of sail, the National Historic Landmark schooner was restored five years ago and transformed into a teaching vessel.
The schooner left its New England port late last year and is docked in Gallows Bay, Christiansted. World Ocean School is working on a partnership with local public high schools to teach students how to sail as they do in New England, Kidder says.
"We are not only excited about the possibilities for Roseway," she says, "but also about the ways in which we hope Roseway can contribute to St. Croix's lively communities and help facilitate the worthy efforts taking place here already." The school has applied for funding from local foundations to support the project, which would give any high school student who wants to learn to sail the opportunity to do so.
"What students learn most is how to live in a small community," Kidder says. During the summer, the school hopes to take students on a sail up the coast back to New England. On the trip, students will crew the vessel themselves, live and eat together on the ship. "When you live on a ship out in the ocean, you learn how to deal with your problems," Kidder says. "To make (the schooner) run is a joint effort."
In the meantime, the school has made its vessel accessible to the public, offering daily two-and-a-half-hour sails to help raise funds for its educational programs.
"Roseway is not a replica," says Dwight Deckelmann, the school's vice president. "She is the real thing, and we invite anyone who is interested in experiencing life on board this incredible piece of history to join us on one of our sails. The experience is a real adventure sail on a real ship."
The public can take advantage of Roseway's teachings daily for $45 per session. For more information about the World Ocean School and Roseway, click here or call Abby Kidder at 617-443-4841.
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