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May 7, 2003

Photo of boat sailing on Lake MercedSmall craft with billowing white sails can once again be spotted on Lake Merced. They may look like sailboats to most of us, but Don Zingale, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at SFSU, sees much more than boats. He sees an opportunity for at-risk community kids to develop leadership skills that include planning, cooperation and goal-setting. He sees a means for introducing University students to a relaxing sport that promotes physical fitness and mental balance. And he sees an opportunity for community members of all ages to expand their horizons and develop new skills.

There are so many good reasons to take off on a boat and so many boating activities are taking off at SFSU that the College of Health and Human Services has organized everything into one office. It’s called BAY SF, an acronym for Bay Area Youth Seamanship Federation, and it is housed within the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department, which is chaired by professor Ginny Jacquith.

“The focus of BAY SF is to promote aquatic sports activities for young people,” Jacquith explains. “We’re starting with sailing, but we may add kayaking and rowing and other aquatic sports in the future.”

BAY SF will offer a spring/summer sailing program for at-risk community youth, a repeat of the successful program held last year in partnership with the SF Parks and Recreation department and America True, a nonprofit organization that promotes youth sailing. And, for the first time in nearly a decade, a 3-credit sailing elective is being offered at the University this semester and in summer session.

Ward Latimer, who directed youth sailing for America True, will conduct sailing instruction and organize an area-wide coalition to promote sailing education and development at SFSU. For information on sailing instruction, contact Latimer at 405-3703.

BAY SF will also serve as the new home of the Tall Ship Semester for Girls (TSSG), the four-month academic program that includes a six-week sea adventure and helps high school girls build self-confidence and get their lives on track. Most recently associated with America True, TSSG was founded by SFSU alum Caitlin Schwarzman (MA ’98) while teaching at Mercy High School in San Francisco.

TSSG Director Nettie Kelly says that the SFSU connection will help strengthen and expand the program. She hopes to involve SFSU students in teaching the high school girls, and in developing the science and ecology aspects of the educational program.

The next semester at sea for girls is planned for Spring 2004, but there are opportunities to get on a tall ship before then. TSSG’s next “Tall Ship Week for Women” is planned for the Channel Islands in September and the College of Extended Learning will offer a week-long field course this summer aboard the tall ship Irving Johnson. Contact Nettie Kelly at (415) 405-3703 or for fees and other details.

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Last modified May 7, 2003, by the Office of Public Affairs