Next month, Sanibel Sea School will renew its long-term partnership with the PACE Center for Girls to help at-risk girls in our community experience the ocean. Launched in 2007, this outreach program was our very first, but for several years, we have been unable to coordinate field trips between these institutions. We've finally been able to coordinate logistics and we are excited to once again provide regular programs to the young women at PACE.
The PACE Center for Girls provides support for girls who come from difficult life situations by offering a safe, nurturing place where they can get back on track. Many of the young women at PACE are victims of physical or sexual abuse and many have dropped out of the public school system. PACE helps girls turn their lives around through quality, gender-responsive education, counseling, and career planning.
In the past, Sanibel Sea School and PACE have joined forces to offer these girls a chance to interact with the ocean in ways that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. We'll pick up where we left off on May 10th, when our teachers transport the PACE girls to Sanibel in our little bus for a day of fun and learning in the field.
Our program with PACE fosters a sense of wonder for the ocean among girls who rarely visit the coast, despite its close proximity. We aim to create a safe place where participants can let their guard down and forget about their problems for a few hours, instead focusing on the magic of ocean discovery through activities like surfing, seining, and snorkeling. Our hope is that they will go home with a sense of accomplishment after trying something a little bit out of their comfort zone, and that this confidence will translate to other areas of their lives.
Thanks to generous support from donors, we are able to provide programs to PACE free of charge, giving girls a stronger start while furthering our mission to improve the ocean's future, one person at a time. We look forward to growing our relationship with PACE for years to come.