There are at-risk urban teenagers and children and adults with disabilities who have never walked along Lake Michigan's shores, nor taken advantage of the lessons the sport of sailing can teach. MCSC's outreach programs, designed for at-risk urban teenagers and children and adults with disabilities, enables this underserved population to take ownership of one of the world's greatest natural resources - Lake Michigan.
Far too many of Milwaukee's youth engage in risky behaviors. Leisure time is spent watching television, playing video games, or worse yet, engaging in sexual activity and/or drug and alcohol use. Too many of Milwaukee's central city young people think violence is problem-solving. Many things need to be done to stem the tide of failure in school and in life for these vulnerable young people. MCSC works with a number of community programs such as the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Ys, Teen Approach, Pearls for Teen Girls, etc., to give all children access to experiences necessary for them to lead healthy, caring, responsible and productive lives.
MCSC helps to stabilize today's youth and helps them realize their hidden talents while conquering their fears and doubts. Much of MCSC's purpose is to engage the lives of children ages 8-17 years old in unique learning experiences through innovative programs to build character and promote a healthy spirit, mind and body. Sailing and Lake Michigan experiences are often part of the summer of children from more comfortable backgrounds, however MCSC outreach programs are aimed at urban, working class and minority youth to help close the socio-economic gap. Peer-group and adult staff at MCSC are highly-trained and nurturing, contributing to these successful programs.
Adaptive Sailing: This program is designed for children and adults with disabilities in cooperation with Milwaukee County's Office for Persons with Disabilities. MCSC's Adaptive Sailing Program provides opportunities for a segment of the population who have traditionally been excluded from lakefront activities, and who have probably never been on a sailboat. ADA accessible floating dock have been installed, complete with hydraulic lifts to enable people who use wheelchairs to be easily and comfortably lifted into boats. The Christopher Reeve Foundation provided MCSC with a Quality of Life Grant in 2006 to assist in those upgrades. MCSC was one of just two Wisconsin-based organizations to receive this recognition from CRF.
MAST (Milwaukee Area Sailing Teens): MCSC collaborates with area nonprofit social service agencies (Boys and Girls Club, Neighborhood House, YMCA, Milwaukee County Executive Office for Persons with Disabilities, etc.) to provide inner city and other disadvantaged at-risk children and youth with the opportunity to use the lessons of sailing to impact their futures. Using sailing as a tool, these students develop basic living skills such as decision-making, teamwork, critical thinking and on-the-spot-problem-solving in a natural setting, to sail help build self-esteem and self-confidence. Students also learn about water safety; how wind and weather affects sailing skills and, of course, also develop a sincere appreciation for Lake Michigan.
Sailing Lessons and Classes: Classes are available in basic, intermediate and advanced courses for youth and adults. Many students participate on a scholarship basis based on eligibility for free and reduced price hot lunch program. Once certified, the MCSC fleet is available for use on a first-come, first-served basis. Many of our MAST students become certified and are hired as MCSC seasonal employees. No one is ever turned away from learning to sail at MCSC for financial or physical reasons.
Open Sailing: Available seven days a week on a variety of sailboats for members only based on prevailing weather conditions and the sailors ability rating.