NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)– A new summer program brings new experiences to some New London students. And this year for the first time, the Stonington non-profit which teaches marine sciences and stewardship is coming closer to the kids.
It’s safe to say this is the first time a lot of these kids have snorkeled or at least done so in a wet suit and life jacket.
Dominic Torruella, 11, suits up for the exploration part of this summer program.
“You just stick your legs through the top and then you put your legs through the bottom,” said Torruella.
These students from Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School get to do some hands on learning this summer.
Thanks to new partnerships between the New England Science & Sailing Foundation and New London schools, Ocean Beach Park, and Mitchell College. The kids used to have to go to NESS’s Stonington location for this program.
“Now with our location here they will be able to spend a lot less time on the bus and more time in the program,” said Cindy Nickerson, Executive Director, NESS.
Donations from Pfizer and a new AmeriCorps grant keep these programs afloat and allow kids like Kayleigh Bolanos to develop their marine science skills while also developing as a person.
“It’s cool because we get to see all like we get to pick up animals and catch them,” said 12-year-old Kayleigh Bolanos.
“We find that being out on the water, being out on the ocean is very empowering for these children and many times it’s transformational for their personal growth,” said Nickerson.
Another new experience for these kids, kayaking. They did that Monday. Tuesday snorkeling and Wednesday they’re combining both so they can explore other areas here at the beach.