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CROWDRISE : Mar 17, 2012
Tax ID: 25-1812163
BASED: Erie, PA, United States



Our Mission

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The Bayfront Maritime Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-based organization whose mission is: to develop and implement unique, hands-on, maritime related educational, vocational, and recreational opportunities in a universally accessible waterfront facility.

Capitalizing on Erie’s rich maritime heritage and a stellar waterfront campus on Lake Erie's Presque Isle Bay, BMC uses sailing, boatbuilding, environmental science, navigation, and boat restoration to teach and reinforce traditional subjects in our non-traditional classrooms. The George Lucas Educational Foundation’s writes, “Project-based learning experiences are a superior way for students to learn 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity and innovation, problem solving, self-direction, and teamwork, because students must develop and use these skills to complete their project.” While it appears as though BMC is building boats with kids, the primary focus is building successful kids with boats. 

Three of BMC's Main programs are:

Bayfront Alternative Education Program, BAEP

The Bayfront Alternative Education Program increases high school graduation rates by providing a safe school for students who aren’t achieving success in the Erie City High Schools. “We teach students that everyone makes mistakes, but we are all capable of rebounding and coming out stronger and wiser,” said Dennis Williams, Site Supervisor of the Bayfront Alternative Education Program.

Sometimes, a second chance and a supportive environment are all a student needs to achieve success. The Bayfront Alternative Education Program (BAEP) strives to provide those two things to some of Erie’s most at-risk youth.

The unprecedented partnership between the Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, the School District of the City of Erie, and the Bayfront Maritime Center makes the Bayfront Alternative Education Program unique in experience and strong In commitment to the well-being and success of each student. The program’s academic component is a blend of traditional classroom and Web-based curricula. The boat shop incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Math into hands-on STEM based projects.

The Erie Adaptive Sailing Experience, EASE

The Erie Adaptive Sailing Experience, EASE, is a sailing program for people with physical and mental challenges, as well as an opportunity for families to become involved in recreational activities. Access Dinghies allow sailors with a variety of mobility challenges to sail. A Hoyer lift helps to easily move sailors from their wheelchairs into the boats. “EASE is staffed by volunteers dedicated to enhancing and empowering the lives of young people with disabilities in our community,” said Bren and Kathy Lindell, directors of the EASE program.  The EASE program is entirely organized and run by a team of dedicated volunteers. It is designed to be a support system for sailors and their families.

Kevin Moczulski is a 23-year-old sailor with autism and OCD, but that doesn't stop him from spending every summer sailing with the EASE program on Presque Isle Bay. “Kevin would walk through fire to come sailing. He loves it more than anything,” said Sue Moczulski, Kevin’s mother.

EASE is the only adaptive sailing program in Pennsylvania. EASE helps build a sense of confidence because the young people aren’t just getting rides on boats; the lessons are part of a standard curriculum designed to teach youth with disabilities how to sail independently. Youth with disabilities face an array of social, physical and mobility challenges, but while sailing they can forget about these problems and experience the liberating joy of being on the water. That simple gift has been transformational. “They are learning life lessons like patience and social interaction,” said Sue. EASE helps sailors build self-esteem and develops a sense of community with the other sailors and their families.

The Bayfront Migrant Summer Program

The Bayfront Migrant IU5/ESD Summer Program offers summer learning experiences to children of migrant workers and recent immigrants who are English Language Learners. The program is a partnership between the PA Department of Education – Migrant Division, the Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5, the School District of the City of Erie, Edinboro University and the Bayfront Maritime Center and focuses on language arts.

“I will always remember going sailing and the feeling of getting the boat to move with the wind,” reminisced Grissel Reyes, a current Mercyhurst College student and former participant. “I started the program very shy and distrustful,” said Grissel, “but by helping the other kids build boats and sail, I became part of the team.”

The Bayfront Migrant Summer Program focuses on helping students progress in their academics with instruction in English, math, computer skills, art and health. Unique learning experiences are offered, including water safety, sailing, paddling and navigation. This innovative approach to learning and 14 years of commitment were major components of the program being nationally recognized.

The PA Department of Education – Migrant Program, won the 2011 Excellence in Summer Learning Award from the National Summer Learning Association. BMC’s efforts incorporating hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, STEM components, into the curriculum and programming played a significant role in winning this prestigious national honor. Dr. Lisa Ramirez, Director of Migrant Education from the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., attended the Migrant Summer Program presentation at the National Migrant Education Conference in Nashville. BMC was honored when she spoke for several minutes about the innovative STEM programming in Erie to the entire conference —about 420 educators from across the United States! — in her closing remarks.




Tax ID: 25-1812163 •


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Amount Raised:



54% Raised of $500 Goal