B.O.A.T. — Building Our Alliances Together
Some of you may know our instructor Maila, who started as an Apprentice several years ago and came back to help Urban Boatbuilders as an instructor — providing opportunities to other youth in the Twin Cities. Last December, Maila applied for a grant to host a boatbuilding class to students over 2016 Saint Paul Public Schools spring break — and received it! As a result, two weeks ago, an enthusiastic and diverse group of about 20 students gathered at the Urban Boatbuilders workshop for the week-long build — called Building Our Alliances Together (B.O.A.T.).
From April 4–8, 2016, Maila and a crew of Apprentices led an audibly-excited group of students in a kayak build. They built two boats over the course of the week, and each day attended a different workshop on a range of topics affecting our communities. Maila and the Apprentices brought in various members of the community to engage the students in productive discussion on social issues in the Twin Cities.
The workshop topics covered immigration barriers, issues of racism, and gender identity and sexuality. Students engaged with a discussion leader on each topic to express their thoughts and opinions, and practiced communicating respectfully with their peers about issues that can often be difficult to talk about. The week also included a resume-building workshop, through which students learned how to present their experience and skills to potential employers.
In lieu of a boat launch (early April was too cold!), the students and instructors had a potluck the following Saturday, where they reflected on all of their progress and discussions throughout the week. The B.O.A.T. kayak build was a resounding success, and paved the way for potential similar projects in the future.
We're on the Lookout for New Donors!
Recently, Urban Boatbuilders received a Fundraising Challenge Grant from the Pohlad Foundation, which means that every new donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $500 per person. This means we have the potential to raise $20,000 or more between now and October! But we need your help.
If you have never donated before, please consider doing so now. Because of this match, your donation will have double the impact! If you are already a donor, thank you so much for your support. Please consider telling a friend about Urban Boatbuilders and the work we do for youth, and asking them to donate today!
All funds will be dedicated to the expansion of the Partnership Program. Please take the time to read about this program, and why it is so important!
We all know the story of the student sleeping in class. Maybe we were that student ourselves, struggling to find interest in academic concepts that seemed bland and abstract. But now a new story is on the rise! Research continues to show the positive impact of hands-on, experiential learning in traditional classroom settings, and thankfully, there are great teachers who connect with students and help them discover their passions. A handful of those teachers reach out to Urban Boatbuilders each year to help them enhance their students’ academic experience through boatbuilding.
In the Partnership Program, students learn, practice, and apply Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills. Whether delving into wood species, learning about exothermic reactions when mixing two-part coatings for boats, or planning and measuring designs and cuts, students have the chance experience the real-world application of abstract concepts. In addition, instructors focus around helping students build skills for 21st century skills, like collaboration and problem solving. The framework for 21st century skills was developed by leaders and educators to illustrate what students need to succeed in school, work, and life. Working these themes into lessons promotes understanding of academic concepts at higher levels through applied learning.
And so, with the vision of Urban Boatbuilders Partnership Program, the student sleeping in class becomes engaged with boatbuilding, and ideally a leader among their peers, taking immense pride in their work and feeling success in school.
All new donations to Urban Boatbuilders will be matched, up to $500 per gift, now through October thanks to the Pohlad Family Foundation. Your support will have double the impact, enabling us to provide more opportunities to more students at more schools. There is no time like the present to engage students — to help build the workforce and leaders of tomorrow. This is your chance to be a part of that effort. Please consider donating to help expand Urban Boatbuilders’ Partnership Program today!
Taking Over the Show
At the American Craft Council Saint Paul Show in early April, Urban Boatbuilders hosted a display representing who we are and what we do. Apprentices and volunteers built a kayak over the course of the 3-day show, alongside countless artists and craftspeople from the Twin Cities. The opportunity to have a display at the show allowed us to reach a new crowd of supporters, and to spread the word about our mission to empower youth to build the skills they need to succeed in school, work, and life.
Two weeks later, TV Takeover on TPT did a spotlight on some exhibitors of the American Craft Council Show, including Urban Boatbuilders. They interviews instructors and Apprentices, while recording them steam-bending the coaming for a kayak. Stay tuned to our Facebook page to catch the video when it shows up online!
Thank you to all those who visited and showed their support during the ACC Show.
Boat Joke of the Month
Why should you build a boat from the bottom up?
For the hull of it!