Graduation ceremonies have been held for participants in an after-school sailing program in the Marina.

Three years ago, Fairwind Yacht Club, The Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station and the Boys & Girls Club of Venice formed a partnership to provide an after- school sailing program for students of Coeur d’Alene Elementary School in Venice.

Each Wednesday afternoon a dozen children were taken to the Sheriff’s Station, where the program was held.

The students were taught sailing and safety by Fairwind Yacht Club volunteers, with the assistance of County Sheriff’s Department personnel.

Many of the children who were in the third grade when the program began now graduated to Middle School.

Fairwind Yacht Club members hope to expand the program to additional afternoons and involve children from other area schools.

“We hope to offer our Fairwind Junior Sailing program to 30 kids a week during the school year,” said yacht club commodore David Lumian. “We have seen remarkable results from the kids who have been in the program these past three years.

“They learned teamwork, communication, self-esteem and critical thinking, as well as how to handle a sailboat safely. This is youth leadership training on the water.”

This week, the junior sailing program goes into a summer mode, a six-week program that focuses on sailing and kayaking.

“Fast ‘n’ Fun” will offer 50 youngsters a day camp program. Enrollment is through the Boys & Girls Club of Venice.

Information can be obtained by contacting the Boys & Girls Club of Venice, (310) 390-4477.

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