Youth Sailing Virginia is a 501c(3) community sailing center located on Mill Creek at Fort Monroe, VA. Sailing is an exciting lifelong sport and youth who learn to sail gain self-confidence and skills such as self-reliance, decision making, teamwork, concentration and independence that carry through a lifetime. Sailing brings a new perspective to every child that gets on the water!
Youth Sailing Virginia currently offers an array of Learn to Sail, Racing and Water Safety and Survival programs that serve not only the Hampton Roads Peninsula but all 18 teams of the Virginia Interscholastic Sailing Association which is part of a nationwide league of sailing teams. Our boats and venue serve as one of three racing locations in the Fall and Spring for public and independent school team members. Our learn to sail programs are offered to rising 6th graders through 12th grade. We also teach adults in our Family/Friends Learn to Sail program, creating a community of sailing families.
We are proud to say we are 1 of 43 accredited US Sailing Community Sailing Centers in the United States, and the only on the VA Peninsula. We are a REACH US Sailing STEM Education Center. Our community outreach works with organizations to provide educational assistance for youth to learn to swim and sail.
Access to boats and water is provided for low fees and we provide scholarships to those who cannot afford our fees. But financial challenges are not the only barriers.
We identified three major barriers and challenged ourselves to address them with the steady goal of providing access to all. These barriers include lack of funds, transportation, and swimming capability. Our fund development strategy includes grants and contributions for scholarship funds. We develop partnerships with organizations who can provide youth with transportation and offer our programs in partnership with those organizations. And for swimming capability, we offer the American Red Cross Safety and Survival course to youth who cannot swim.
To this effort we have developed Water Safety and Survival in the Water. In this comprehensive program, students learn the essentials to be safe and comfortable in the water as well as basic swim instruction. Understanding and adjusting for unique risks of the water include: river currents, tidal current, ocean rip currents, water temperature, shallow or unclear water and more.
At the end of the course youth will be able to enter water that's over their heads and return to the surface, float or tread water for at least a minute, turn over and turn around in the water and swim at least 25 yards. The final day concludes with getting the students into sail boats on Mill Creek. The joy of accomplishing this course brings smiles, pride and self confidence. Most kids don't want the class to end!
We use print and direct mail to reach underserved communities, to market our events, and help us raise funds to support scholarships and programming. We create flyers, marketing postcards, an annual fund letter, rack cards to promote programs and we are looking for a new partner to assist with our print needs. We hope to increase our capacity to stay connected with all the kids that come for a camp session with birthday cards and reminders to register the following year. The sky is the limit!
We aim to be a place for all youth to grow their skills, self-confidence and so much more regardless of their socioeconomic status. We are so grateful for the opportunity to receive a grant from Conquest Graphics; your support is critical to our success in reaching our goals and we thank you.
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