Roseway's Ocean School
By Abby Kidder, Executive Director
November marks the return of World Ocean School's historic schooner Roseway to Gallows Bay. This year, Roseway will continue the education programs at sea, begun five years ago, for the island's three public junior high schools as well as adding public elementary students to the program. Also new this year, the program will have space to serve private schools on the island. In total over 700 St. Croix students will participate in World Ocean School programs aboard Roseway, adding to the over 2,000 that have been served over the last four years. World Ocean School's director of education, Eden Leonard, says that this year is about extending the reach of these programs and "tightening up the academic connections to math, science, history, and language arts at sea."This translates into activities on board such as navigation, theory of sail, oceanography, teambuilding, poetry of the sea, speed/distance, reef ecology, and maritime careers. "After a week on board, the students feel a part of the crew and they understand that what they are learning in school has an actual application in the world," says Leonard.
Between educational programs, Roseway opens her decks to locals and visitors for daily sunset sails, making this 86-year-old historic landmark ship open to the public. "The St. Croix community has embraced and supported Roseway not only for the remarkable beauty she adds to the seascape but also for the contributions she makes to education on the island", says Executive Director Abby Kidder. For example, this year Roseway's neighbors in Gallows Bay, Schooner Bay Market and the Stevenson Formal Freight Services (operators of the Norma H) have generously sponsored the Roseway shirts that are given to each student as their crew uniform. Students are required to wear the shirts when on board, letting them know they are part of the team with all the expectations and responsibilities that being crew entails. "We are proud of our kids and we love the pride they have in being part of our crew", says Kidder.
The World Ocean School is a non profit organization that creates and provides a method of experiential education at sea that affords teenage students a practical application for their studies as well as cultivating teamwork, community service, environmental responsibility, and cross-cultural friendships so that they gain insight into becoming empowered, motivated, and engaged citizens.
Visit them at www.worldoceanschool.org or call 340-626-7877.