PCS students, through partnerships with several organizations, had the opportunity to test their sailing skills and learn about local habitats.
Middle schoolers set sail aboard vintage Herreshoff 12 ½ foot sloops this summer during a week-long sailing camp at the Herreshoff sailing school and marine museum in Bristol. They learned about sails, rudders, and wind direction, and applied their knowledge as they tacked and gybed across beautiful Bristol Harbor. For Cuffee students, being on board the 12 ½’s brought to reality the principles of boat design learned in their 5th grade maritime unit on boats, where they studied how buoyancy, stability, and speed influence hull and sail plan design. Thanks to support from the McCarthy Foundation, the Herreshoff Marine Museum was able to subsidize the sailing school program for Paul Cuffee School students.
Cuffee students were also provided a glimpse of their city from the smooth waters of the Providence harbor as they set sail from the Community Boating Center at India Point. And thanks to funding from the Block Island Maritime Institute, several 10th graders, accompanied by upper school teaching partners Lloyd Alston and Naomi Morey, spent a week on the sparkling seashore of Block Island with faculty from the Institute. In this Marine Science and Ecology program, the group studied plankton, crustaceans and other sea life and learned the maritime ways of knot-tying and the rhythm of the tides. Students also participated in beach clean ups, squid dissection, seining, bird banding, kayaking, fishing, and boating. This is the third year that Paul Cuffee Upperclassmen participated in the Block Island Maritime Institute’s marine life summer program.