MVP Helm Report: January 2021

Ahoy from the Bridge!

Happy New Year to all!! We've had a busy January, never missing a beat upon the students returning after the holidays. Everyone is learning at their own pace and their seamanship skills are definitely improving. They take turns with leading the flag pledge, the cooking of lunch, the table blessing and the cleanup is also being shared. The early morning routine is we all sit and discuss the skill that each student feels they need to work on. The 1-10 grading system (curriculum) is working out really well - often students are asked what level they are at, and interestingly, they are found to be pretty accurate in judgment. This past Saturday we welcomed back sisters Pebbles (15) and Precious (13) who have been missing in action for many months.

Other accomplishments and happenings: MLK Roadside Cleanup! Students (brother and sister) Anthony and Nadia showed up on their holiday to work! They cleaned up the road from the traffic light (above Nat. Guard) all the way to the Red Hook Mall. They worked their bottoms off in the hot sun, picking up every beer bottle and piece of trash along the way - coincidently finding two $5 bills along the way!! Afterwards they were treated to lunch at Subway for their hard work and wonderful community spirit.

Sailing Program Development: Proud to announce our MVP students will soon be learning to sail! This is being made possible through the financial help of Heavy Materials, the Lana Vento Charitable Trust, the Prior Foundation, Ken Morton and hopefully a growing list of others. The plan is to develop a fleet of training vessels to accommodate students of all sizes and skill levels. This is an ambitious effort and it will require that we continually seek financial support. The thought has occurred that supporters might enjoy observing the progress of students. To facilitate this investor involvement, we've decided to name the MVP's sailing program the Happy Island Sailing Club (HISC). Supporters wearing their membership badges and will be invited to actually sail with the students and their instructors. With the offer of a tax donation and the ability to witness the training - we are hoping the program becomes well funded. Our first vessel, a 19' Flying Scot (accommodates up to 6 sailors) will be arriving St. Thomas via a shipping container on Feb. 28 th. from Miami. See HISC and sailing program plans on MVP's website at: www.mvp.vi.

MVP Growth: We've been speaking with parents who are interested in signing up their children. This stay at home schooling is getting old and word is getting out about the MVP's fun outdoor learning opportunities. To handle growth, we'll need to work smarter, especially on Saturday during the school year and to do that, we're seeking volunteers to help supervise with the safety and training of students. Because students (ages 10-18) are learning on all levels, there are many repetitive tasks (splicing, swimming, knot tying, etc.) that are taking up the time of the Captain. Volunteers can be quickly taught to help supervise and they'll have fun doing it! With the advent of the sailing program, there may also be added privileges for volunteering efforts! Call (340)-626-4414 to discuss.

Straight Ahead! JL