South Florida

‘Below Deck' Star Uses Platform to Inspire Students With Program

Captain Sandy is using her platform to inspire kids with a classroom program called Captain Sandy and the Ocean Rangers

NBC Universal, Inc.

In the life of a pandemic, getting our kids away from the computer screen and outside is more important than ever before.

Now, there’s a program set to get kids exploring our beaches and learning about the waters that surround South Florida.

“If I would have had Captain Sandy and the Ocean Rangers I would have been like 'this is amazing,' if I could become a captain or a chief engineer on a yacht or any of those positions, I think I would have persued that career,” says Sandy Yawn, a Super Yacht captain.

If Yawn looks familiar, that’s because she’s a star of the hit Bravo reality TV show 'Below Deck.' But now, Captain Sandy is using her platform to inspire kids with a classroom program called Captain Sandy and the Ocean Rangers.

“Our aim is to teach them about the watery wonders of the ocean, to teach them about what is extinction, to teach them about how we can save our oceans with 70 percent of atmosphere and oxygen coming from the marine plants,” says Yawn.

It’s an animated program that’s set to educate kids all about the ocean and the maritime industry.

The program will be targeted for students in grades two through four. It’ll follow STEAM and SEL recourses, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math as well as social and emotional learning.

“What I like about Sandy’s program is that it’s interactive for kids. They have games that they can play and it helps them connect with their backyard,” says Elaine Fiore, a sustainability educator at Beachside Montessori Village in Hollywood.

Fiore loves the idea of an educational program that will get kids outside exploring, especially one that helps teach about the beautiful blue waters that surround our home.

“We’ll build a boat in the classroom, we’ll learn about what is extinction, also there will be a digital game that they can play where they will have to save a dolphin," said Yawn. "The kids will be able to play that game and learn how or what to do to save a dolphin or even to clean the beach!"

“They will tell everyone they know when they see the little plastics, 'please pick those up, they are not food, birds eat them' so whatever they learn, they take that home and they become out teachers,” says Fiore.

Two of Fiore’s students can’t wait for the fun.

“It’s fun to pick up trash and it helps the environment,” says Isabella Gal a first grade student.

“I like it because I like animals and it’s fun to learn about them because I like how they just move around. I just want to protect them so I can keep learning about them,” says Ezekiel Feliz, also a first grader.

And Captain Sandy is just as excited.

“South Florida is my home, I’ve been here since 1987. I was born and raised in Florida, wherever there is water I’ve lived so for me to start in South Florida with this program is near and dear to my heart,” says Yawn.

Captain Sandy and the Ocean Rangers are already approved in schools, but now they are raising the funds to make that possible. Their goal is to raise $200,000 to get this program into schools.

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