SAIL NAUTICUS ACADEMY
The Sail Nauticus Academy is our flagship program, created to provide a life-changing experience for underserved youth in our local community. Through a partnership with Norfolk Public Schools, students are given the opportunity to participate in a program that promotes STEM activities, career development opportunities and life skills through the sport of sailing and maritime science.
A prospective Academy student begins by applying in 5th grade. Applications are available at all Norfolk Public elementary schools, and a member of our staff gives a presentation at each school during the winter months. Of the hundreds of applications received, each will be thoroughly reviewed. At the end of this process, we will select our future Norfolk Public Schools 6th grade Academy students. (Please note: The current application process is being revised for fall of 2021.)
The 6th grade year at Academy focuses on an introduction to the world of sailing. During the winter months, students learn the basics of swimming and water safety to build their overall confidence on the water. Along with the basics of sailing, students will learn practical life skills including communication, leadership and teamwork.
Our 7th grade curriculum focuses on safety and preparedness while enhancing the sailing skills they learned in 6th grade. During the winter, they learn more advanced swimming and water safety techniques as well as take part in the American Red Cross' Community First Aid and CPR course.
For their final year, we work to prepare these 8th grade students to pass a basic sailing competency practical, similar to the test we give our adult members. The special opportunity for these kids is during the winter when they learn how to construct functional wooden boats. This activity incorporates a strong amount of the STEM curriculum and helps provides kids with a better understanding of the time and skills required to assemble a boat.
Enrollment in the Academy comes with a one-year commitment. To participate again in their 7th, then 8th grade year, each student must complete the basic requirements for their grade level. Upon completion of their 8th grade year, these students will have the opportunity to return as volunteers to enhance their sailing and teaching skills. Our goal is to turn a handful of these students into junior sailing instructors.
Our summer camps and adult programs help fund Sail Academy. Please consider becoming a member, making a donation, or signing up for one of our other offerings to help us keep this program afloat and to continue helping Hampton Roads' youth gain confidence and skills that they can use for the rest of their lives.
Congratulations Class of 2021!
Our 8th grade graduates donned life jackets this morning – not caps and gowns. Following a brief ceremony, students had the chance to show off their skills and take their parents sailing ⛵️