spotlight stories

spotlight on bronx academy for multi media

Day-to-day, more than 30 different partners work hand-in-hand with Rocking the Boat to deliver extraordinary opportunities to South Bronx teens. We are tremendously grateful to all of the parents, non-profit organizations, and local schools turning to Rocking the Boat as a resource for their students. Among the schools we have been partnering with most closely over the past year is the middle school two blocks up the hill and geographically closest to our facility: Bronx Academy for Multi Media.

With the lowest ELA and math test scores of any middle school in New York State, the school was in State receivership. Things needed to change dramatically if the school were to remain open. Within his first two months on the job in fall 2017, new principal David Vazquez had begun remaking the school, spearheading his effort with improving teaching practices so that students were participating more and learning effectively.

At the Hunts Point Alliance for Children holiday party, David met a valuable neighbor, Rocking the Boat’s Executive Director, Adam Green. David realized that collaborating with Rocking the Boat would be a perfect way to support the kind of learning that he and the teaching staff were striving for at BAMM. Since then, BAMM has developed a close relationship with Rocking the Boat, working closely with our Program Directors on recruitment and curriculum development to create the perfect platform to further engage students, help to leverage their classroom learning, and provide them with incomparable experiences, all within their own neighborhood.

bamm students


BAMM students participated in extended Rocking the Boat programs throughout 2018. They started with sending the sixth grade science classes three days per week doing hands-on environmental science. To motivate students in all three grades to attend morning classes of summer school, David signed them up for afternoon Sailing Camp. And for nine weeks this past fall, BAMM eighth graders got a taste of all three Rocking the Boat programming tracks: Boatbuilding, Environmental Science, and Sailing. When our instructors told them that they could continue coming to Rocking the Boat as ninth graders, everyone enthusiastically registered their interest. They will be welcomed with open arms. A second group of eighth graders will be enrolling in another nine-week Rocking the Boat introduction program this spring.

“Rocking the Boat provides our learning community the means to realize a project-based, student-centered science curriculum that is super engaging, cognitively rigorous, and fun!”

- David Vazquez Bronx Academy for Multi Media Principal, who regularly takes it upon himself to walk BAMM students from school down Lafayette Avenue to Rocking the Boat

“In the fall, David invited me to give a testimonial at BAMM’s State of the School [receivership] meeting. It was a really big deal! As a school under review, they were tracking every milestone and marker to show that they were making progress toward their goals. I talked about the value of our partnership and the growth of our middle school programming due to BAMM’s collaboration and engagement. It was great to be able to share all the ways Rocking the Boat has been supporting BAMM students and teachers, and how BAMM is helping expand our programs as well.”

- Sarah Miles, Director of Public Programs, Rocking the Boat



kids don’t just build boats, boats build kids

rocking the boat
812 edgewater road
bronx, ny 10474

info@rockingtheboat.org
phone: 718.466.5799
fax: 718.466.2892

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