Give back to the Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA)—a Suttons Bay non-profit organization that has welcomed over 200,000 students onto its schoolship to learn about Great Lakes ecology and boating. The organization is one of 200 finalists for a community grant from State Farm’s Neighborhood Assist program for organizations that make an impact in their community; the top 40 organizations that receive the most votes via Facebook will each win a $25,000 dispensation.
Before You Vote: Note that you will be asked to allow State Farm access to your contacts—this is only to allow you to ‘share’ your voting with your friends should you choose to ‘share’ after you’ve voted. Your contacts will not be shared without your consent. Also, when navigating the voting application, the icon representing the ISEA is located in the middle of Michigan and is titled “Great Lakes Education.”
Up to 10 votes are allotted per day, and all 10 votes may be allocated to one organization. Voting ends on Friday, May 16th, and Inland Seas is—as of Friday, May 9th—outside of the winning top-40.
“The Great Lakes represent 20% of the Earth’s fresh surface water and it needs to be taken care of for future generations. If people don’t have a connection with the Great Lakes, how can they protect them? Inland Seas Education Association helps connect students of all ages with the Great Lakes by providing a hands on education of this precious natural resource,” states Sally Somsel, a long time ISEA volunteer Schoolship instructor. “ISEA’s community is really the entire Great Lakes Watershed, which includes the small pond in citizen’s backyards to each of the five Great Lakes. We want to promote stewardship through education, but we also want to get students excited about Great Lakes Science or just science in general.”
The potential funds raised through State Farm’s Neighborhood Assist program would “allow ISEA to reach more and more students with the task of being a steward of the lakes.”
ISEA is a non-profit charity made up of scientists, sailors and educators. The lessons taught aboard the Schoolship are aligned with Michigan’s Board of Education’s curriculum expectations for science and social studies, and compliment classroom teaching. To keep ISEA’s programs affordable, the fees charged to schools only cover about 1/3 of costs; the other 2/3 is provided by generous donors, whose charitable gifts are combined to fund matching scholarship grants.