April 27, 2020 – Washington, D.C. – The Brendan Sailing Program for Youth with Learning Differences (Brendan Sailing) has regretfully announced the cancellation of their 2020 Spring sailing program. Scheduled to occur in late April at program host, DC Sail, the after-school sessions were cancelled due to ongoing health concerns related to COVID-19. The announcement was made in conjunction with District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) decision on April 17th to close all school buildings for the remainder of the 2020 academic year and DC Sail’s inability to operate due to extended stay-at-home orders and non-essential business closures.
Since 2018, Brendan Sailing has partnered with the students and faculty of Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC), providing over 50 CHEC students and junior cadets with full learn-to-sail scholarships.
"While we are disappointed that we will lose our spring season, we know it is best for the safety and wellbeing of our DCPS students and volunteers," said Brendan Sailing Executive Director Charlie Arms. "Brendan Sailing is monitoring COVID-10 developments in both D.C. and Maryland, and are hopeful that some of our D.C. students will have the opportunity to attend our resident camp at St. Mary's College of Maryland this summer." Despite Spring program cancellations, Brendan Sailing is still accepting applications for their Annapolis and St. Mary’s summer programs. Annapolis day camp is due to begin June 22, 2020, and camp applications can be found online at brendansailing.org.
"We never turn down a child for financial reasons," Brendan Sailing Founder and Chairman of the Board, James P. Muldoon, said. "It is important that the children we serve have opportunities like this to build social skills and teamwork. Our goal is to provide a positive, inclusive, and empowering experience to all those who could benefit regardless of their financial position."
For thirty-five years, Brendan Sailing’s mission has been to provide youth with learning differences the opportunity to build self-confidence and self-esteem through sailing. Scholarships are a large part of that mission, and one the founder Jim Muldoon firmly believes in.
"No matter what happens, Brendan Sailing pledges to continue its work toward its mission of building confidence and self-esteem through sailing in children with learning differences," said Brendan Sailing President, Joanne Dorval. "We hope the circumstances allow us to proceed, but whether this year or the next, we promise to continue our efforts to positively impact the Washington D.C. youth learning differences community."