University Prep Schools announces new sailing program

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University Prep Schools in Detroit announced a new sailing program in partnership with the Detroit Yacht Club on Friday.

U Prep Schools will offer the four-week class to 25 of its University Prep Science & Math (UPSM) middle and high school students this summer. The school system will pilot the program within the UPSM district, as an extracurricular supplement to the students’ science and engineering coursework. The program, which was made possible by an initial anonymous donation of $100,000, is slated to run from July 7 to August 1.

“We are really looking to change the game when it comes to urban education in Detroit; not only in the classroom, but beyond,” said Mark Ornstein, CEO of University Prep Schools, which oversees operations at UPSM and its sister district, University Prep Academy. “University Prep Schools’ students deserve every advantage and opportunity afforded students with significantly more resources. With the help of the community and that of the Detroit Yacht Club, we’re leveling the playing field with this program.”

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Detroit charter academy system mixes math, science, swimming, sailing

A half-dozen dinghies slowly sliced through the still blue-green water, their young captains trying to angle the sails to catch a breeze.

The wind wasn’t cooperating. But that didn’t faze Josiah Walker, 14, who watched his classmates from a motorboat Friday morning as he awaited his turn to sail solo around the lagoon at the Detroit Yacht Club.

“I feel free, relaxed, independent,” the Hazel Park boy said. “I feel wonderful when I sail.”

Josiah and 20 other students from University Prep Science & Math in Detroit just completed a new program that mixes academics with swimming and sailing. It was launched in July through a first-of-its-kind partnership between the University Prep Schools charter school system and the yacht club, which generally offers its junior sailing courses only to members.

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