The Indiana Sailing Association has been working on the development of what is being called the “Boating Basicis – Brief Course” which is designed to align basic boating curriculum for middle-school age students, and is based upon the official Indiana Boating Safety Course which is offered through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
The course is being offered to East Chicago School students who are part of the St. Joseph’s Carmelite Home in East Chicago. The goal is to provide these students with a unique opportunity during the summer and also serves as an opportunity to refine the curriculum so that it could be scaled to accommodate more students in future sailing seasons.
“We are always trying to adjust and adapt the materials we teach on shore so they are compatible with the experiences the students have on the water,” said Celia Oprinovich, Curriculum Coordinator for the Indiana Sailing Association.
The course provides approximately one hour of classroom time along with a little over an hour of hands-on sailing experiences with Indiana Sailing Association Coaches on Lake Michigan. The course takes place once per week for five weeks.
According to Christopher Kosovich, Acting Chief Operating Officer of the Indiana Sailing Association, “The development of this course is part of a multi-year plan we have in place to expand the types of offerings we are able to provide. We have been successful at building a STEM based program last year which has a distinct academic enrichment focus. The program we are refining this year gets back to boating basics and safety which are critical, fundamental aspects of working around the boats and water.”
Kosovich added, “Having these different programs enables us to customize an experience for our collaborating organizations so that we can find the right balance of learning and experiences we can help to provide to the student and youth populations we have at any given time.”
Geoffrey Barrow, Executive Director for Indiana Sailing Association added his excitement for getting the students onto the boats and out on the water for the hands-on experiences. “You learn by doing!”
The Indiana Sailing Association has had a long history of working with the East Chicago Schools since 1989. The goals for 2015 sailing season include new models of implementation for the programming that has recently been developed to provide new opportunities for students within the East Chicago Schools.