News: Special Needs Children Learn Seamanship Skills
Story by Sgt. Shanika Futrell
By Seaman Shanika L. Futrell
Fleet Public Affairs Center, Atlantic
YORKTOWN, Va. – Special needs children from LifeSkills Learning Center went to Waterman's Museum in Yorktown, Dec. 12, where they learned seamanship skills.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Jamie Marriot, a deck master at Port Operations on board Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, taught the children how to tie the square and bowline knots for the boat they are building.
"The children are starting the project to get to know the Chesapeake Bay," said David Niebuhr, managing director of the Waterman's Museum. "During this project we are building a boat that we hope to be finished by spring time so that we can sail out on the water. The Navy is a very important part of the Chesapeake Bay here, so the fact that we have a Navy volunteer come and help us practice the tools we need to build a boat is wonderful."
Marriot helped each child tie the knots several times so that they won't forget.
"In order to keep it [the boat] from floating away, learning the different ways to tie knots are important," said Marriot.
The students from the LifeSkills Learning Center meet at the Waterman's Museum in Yorktown every Friday to learn the different skills it takes to build and maintain their boat.
On this Friday, the children also measured and cut wood into nine inch pieces, to start the process for the foundation of their boat.
Alexis and Michelle, two students from the LifeSkills Learning Center both said they were excited to measure and cut the wood with a saw for their project. They also expressed fear that they may cut their fingers. Regardless of their fear, they both had courage and with guidance from their teachers they were successful.
The teachers, students and Marriot all agreed they had a great time learning together.
"It was fun to learn how to do the different knots and I would love for him to come again to teach us more," said Brittany, a student of LifeSkills Learning Center.
Marriot says that he plans to come back to teach more seamanship skills to the children so their boat will be able to stay in the best of conditions.