Class needs help for sailing trip

October 23, 2009 7:10:51 PM PDT
A group of fourth and fifth graders in Oakland could use your help as they try to embark on a great adventure -- spending the night on an old sailing vessel. How they get there will be up to you.

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Imagine life as a sailor on board a ship in 1907. Students at Monarch Academy in Oakland are about to be transported back in time to a life on board the Balclutha docked in San Francisco.

"You have to be up by 6 in the morning just to prepare the food," says Jasmine Hebert, a fifth grader.

"They are going to be doing all the work, they are going to stand on night watch, they are going to cook on a wood burning stove, and do a lot of rigging type work and tying the ship to the dock," says Alice Watts from the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association.

They must learn how to tie a square knot and a cleat hitch. Other groups of kids have gone in the past. For 24 hours they will live on this ship the way it was in 1907. Working together as a group, will be their most valuable lesson.

"The more they work together the more no one falls through the cracks because they take accountability for one another and they realize together the can accomplish anything. The goal is that they are all making it to college and together can make sure of that and they are the only ones that can do that," says teacher Nyere Da Silva.

"I'm excited about the trip because I love history and we are doing what they did back then," says Yajaira Villanueva, a fifth grader.

The sailing vessel transported grain from San Francisco to Europe. After the 1906 earthquake it was used to bring in lumber to help rebuild the city. Their stay on the ship will be paid for by the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association.

"But right now we need the funds to get the transportation to get there," says de Silva.

Ms. Da Silva is relying on DonorsChoose.org. That's a website where teachers post a project like this one hoping to get funded by donors like you.

They need buses to transport all the fourth and fifth graders. The cost is $815.

"I'm looking forward to this trip because Ms. Da Silva says it's only once in a life time experience," says Danny Salazar.

From this urban neighborhood in Oakland to the high seas--all in a day.

"They are going to come out of this completely transformed," says Da Silva.

LINKS:
Donors Choose
Project: Ms. Da Silva's Ahoy Mate 1900's voyage

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