Grant to help fund Bay Village safe boating class

Students in last year's Spirit of America class learn about boating safety aboard the Rocky River Marine Patrol boat.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft recently announced that the Bay Village City School District has been awarded a grant of $2,155.37 as part of the Boating Safety Education Grant Program. The Division of Watercraft is awarding more than $364,000 to political subdivisions and non-profit organizations for boating education programs. Bay Village Schools is one of 34 organizations across the state to receive funding.

The funds will be used to provide a boating safety education program this summer for sixth- through eighth-grade students. The nationally recognized program, known as Spirit of America (SOA), provides students both classroom and on-the-water sessions to teach safe boating skills.

Participants will take the Ohio Boating Education Course on two Saturdays in May. This meets the Ohio law that requires "any person born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, to show proof they have completed an approved boating course if they are operating a power boat over 10 horsepower." This OBEC class is mandatory and students must attend both days and pass an exam.

The on-the-water sessions involve a pool session to help students understand the importance of wearing life jackets and to learn how to upright overturned sailboats, kayaks and canoes in a safe environment. The remainder of the on-the water sessions will be held at Whiskey Island Marina where students will be receive hands-on instruction in power boats, canoes, kayaks, sailboats, personal watercraft, paddleboards and a large boat experience.

The Bay Village Schools have been associated with the program for 15 years and are the fiscal organization for the grant. The program is open to registered students who live in Cuyahoga County. Registration will be held in March and April. There is a $20 registration fee.

The classroom sessions are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, May 9 and May 16, at the Bay Village Community House. The on-the-water sessions at Whiskey Island Marina will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on June 15, 22 and 29.

For more information and an application form, visit or email

George Christ

I am coordinator of the West Cuyahoga Spirit of America Safe Boating Program. The program provides free boating education to 6th- 8th grade students. It is sponsored by the Bay Village Schools and The Spirit of America Foundation. A grant from ODNR -Watercraft helps fund the program. This is the 15th year this program has been in operation.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 9:11 AM, 02.17.2015