Youth Empowerment through Building Canoes
Organized by: Sarah Besse
I need your help to raise $6,000 for 50 children to build 10 canoes in teams of 5. I love my job teaching boat building to 5th grade students at the Haley Pilot School, a low-income inclusion school within the Boston Public Schools. Students who do not love the classroom often thrive in the workshop. One day I overheard: “why is it that you’re so good at math here but in class you stink at it?” Reply: “I don’t know. I just get it here!”
My students live close to the ocean, but most of them have never been on a boat before. Many do not think that they can build a boat. Working as a team to overcome the hurdles in the building process is empowering.
Boston Public Schools has recently cut funding for children with special needs. Since the Haley is an inclusion school, these cuts are tough. Some of my most enthusiastic boat builders are students with special needs.