On May 10, 2014, more than 30 Middle Schoolers from Ranney School in Tinton Falls, Sisters Academy in Asbury Park and Oak Hill Academy in Lincroft, came together at Deal Lake in Asbury Park, NJ, to launch three 16-foot canoes that they spent the previous four months building from scratch.
The students learned the value of teamwork and diligence with the Boat Building project, which was managed by Project U.S.E. (Urban Suburban Environments). The nonprofit educational organization based in Newark aims to enrich the educational experiences of students in communities throughout New Jersey. They provide experiential learning opportunities to more than 7,000 young people and adults each year. The Boat Building Program is a unique initiative that allows middle and high school age students to explore the maritime history of their region and to learn the science and art involved in boat building.
“The boys learned to use many tools and the importance of measurement and craftsmanship,” said Ranney Middle School Art Teacher Madeleine McCarthy. “They also now understand the importance of safety in any construction project. The most important thing they gained was the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a long-term project.”
The students, along with their teachers, fellow classmates and families, were proud to see that their boats not only floated on Deal Lake, but were able to make several trips out into the water.