PCS Enrichment Programs Offer Journeys of a Lifetime

Paul Cuffee School offered several summer enrichment programs designed to give students unforgettable hands-on learning experiences. In keeping with our maritime theme, two RI programs explored sailing and seamanship, while students in a third program journeyed to the island nation of Cape Verde.

Herreshoff Seamanship Program

Herreshoff sailing program

Diana DeJesus, Caira Servrien, Jadia Clay, Priscilla Gonzalez, and Jaylene Gonzalez prepare to hoist the sails during a lesson in Bristol Harbor.

Six Cuffee students spent two weeks at the Herreshoff Seamanship Program in Bristol, RI, learning to sail Herreshoff 12½’s—classic ships that were built in Bristol between 1914 and 1939. This opportunity, funded by the McCarthey Foundation, imparted not only sailing skills and knowledge but also opportunities for personal and social growth.

Block Island Maritime Institute

Block Island summer enrichment

Deon Gomes studies the lens on Block Island’s Southeast Lighthouse.

In August, a group of Paul Cuffee sophomores and juniors spent five days at the Block Island Maritime Institute exploring maritime science, history, and culture. In addition to visiting the island’s historical museum and lighthouses, students took part in a beach clean-up community project, water testing experiments, and a fisheries biology lecture. They also spent time kayaking, fishing, and meeting local dignitaries, including Board members and even Richard Parsons, former CEO of Time Warner and Citigroup.

Learning for Credit on Cape Verde

Four Cuffee seniors traveled to the Cape Verde Islands along with 19 undergraduates from the University of Rhode Island for two weeks of cultural and environmental education, while earning college credits. Partnering with a URI program and directed by Cuffee Board member Earl Smith, students learned about eco-tourism—the theme of this year’s program—by visiting culturally and historically significant landmarks, interviewing local residents, and talking with community and government leaders about the impact of tourism on the local economy and way of life.

PCS students Margarita Gonzalez, Heidi Silverio, Ivy Barclay, and Giandra Rivas (l to r) meet with Cape Verde Prime Minister José Maria Neves (second from left). Also pictured: Keenan Pinto (back) and PCS Institutional Advancement Director Maria Monteiro (far right).


Average Class Size: 20
Current Enrollment: 820
Students of Color: 96%
Female Students: 51%
Male Students: 49%
Free/Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility: 82%
Multi-Language Learners: 19%
Students Receiving Special Education Services: 13%
Total Employees: 168
BIPOC: 45%
Female Employees: 75%
Male Employees: 25%