Bronx boatbuilding program teaches youths

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A non-profit organization in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx is teaching young people how to build boats, row, sail and restore urban waterways.

Founder Adam Green started the Rocking the Boat program in 1996 while he was still in college, according to New York’s Channel 1 news. Through the years, he has directed high schoolers from the South Bronx in constructing 37 wooden boats.

"I think one of the powers of the program is when you ask a kid what they've done today and they say, 'Oh I worked on building a boat' or 'I went sailing on the Bronx River.' That's going to raise people's eyebrows and make the kids themselves feel special," Green told the network.

Besides teaching boatbuilding, sailing and rowing, Rocking the Boat provides an environmental classroom, giving participants real-life experience restoring the Bronx River, which is cleaner now than in past years.

"We work with professional scientists and implement their projects, so we're growing mussels and oysters and seaweed and monitoring birds and fish and water," Green told the network.

Rocking the Boat also works to keep its current and former members on the right course. A social worker keeps track of alumni as they make their way through college and into the working world.

"You feel really good when you make something and it doesn't like fall down or sink in the water, so it's really good," student Rocio Coats told the network.

The organization is offering a community sailing program on Saturdays throughout the summer. New York residents can take rides on the Bronx River on boats the students have made.

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