MyNorth News Service

(Press Release provided by Red8Boatworks)

TRAVERSE CITY: Red8Boatworks, a Traverse City-­based community boat building non­profit, has recently launched a pilot project teaching wooden boat building and math remediation as an after­school program to students at West Middle School.

Starting with lessons in the safe use of hand and power tools, the students will build two custom wooden Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) designed for the course. In addition, the building process forces the students to practice the age-­appropriate math skills they have been learning in the classroom. Program Director Adam Burks comments: “Students are excited about SUPs and surf culture, and the opportunity to build something relevant to their lives using their hands engages this age group in a way that few other things do. We’ve adapted the “Building to Teach” boat building math curriculum to SUPs with great success and have brought the program to WMS to make it as easy as possible for the students to take part.” He continues: “ I give the administration at WMS a lot of credit for having the foresight to recognize the disconnect some students have between what is meaningful to them and the mandated learning goals­ and doing something proactive about it.”

Red8Boatworks encourages personal growth through the development of maritime skills in the workshop and on the water. PD Adam Burks says: “The Bay and other local waters are such an important part of life here in Traverse City and we want everyone here to feel that connection. So we help people build boards and boats from scratch and then go out and use them. What could be better?”

To learn more about programs at Red8, please go to or like them on Facebook.