June 28, 2021
Starting in July, AMIkids programs can bring kids off-campus, officially resuming Experiential Challenge Events. The Presidential Dive Trip and Rafting & Rappelling Events are happening this summer. Marine Education will be fully available again starting in August.
has been at the core of AMIkids programming from the beginning. Youth who participate in experiential learning form a stronger bond with their teachers, therapists, and other staff. Those bonds, and the trust that develops within a meaningful relationship with our kids, help us serve them better.
We also use experiential education opportunities to incentivize AMIkids programs for youth working toward academic and behavioral goals. Trips to participate in non-classroom learning motivates them to focus on achieving goals and sets an example for youth who have not yet earned the privilege to attend.
Furthermore, Experiential Education also allows a shared anchoring point for a group of youth. It offers a mutual start in exploring new activities, leveling the playing field for students of diverse life histories to connect, engage in learning, and connect with their environment.
Unfortunately, AMIkids had to rethink Marine Education and Challenge events and adapt to the socially distant reality of COVID-19. We implemented virtual challenge events, a virtual floating classroom, and some on-site experiences
. However, the changes we had to make were particularly hard for our youth and the proper implementation of the AMIkids Way
However, today we are pleased to announce that off-campus experiences for youth are now allowed again starting this week. We have been anxiously waiting for this moment and also preparing for it.
In May, we conducted lifeguard training at AMIkids Jacksonville, and we now have ten recently certified lifeguards ready to supervise our youth in water activities.
The Presidential Dive Challenge Event is confirmed, and we have 12 programs actively working to participate. The AMIkids crowd will invade the John Pennekamp State Park from July 19 to 23, and we will have nine boats and over 100 people there.
The Rafting and Rappelling event is also confirmed, and schools are working to attend. This event will take place September 13 to 17 at the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina and will include exciting new additions such as Ziplining and multiple camping clinics.
Our Marine Education Program is also back online, and the team is working full steam to provide kayaking, scuba diving, fishing, snorkeling, and floating classroom experiences to our youth. Usually held one week per month, we have decided to double our offerings for the remainder of 2021 to two weeks a month. The schedule is already fully booked, with programs attending events at our Boatyard in St. Petersburg, FL, from August to November.
COVID-19 taught us many things. We learned to do old things in new ways. We learned to work from home and be more efficient, and we learned how to be more remote.
But we also learned some things just couldn't be replaced with a virtual experience, and Experiential Education is one of those.
We are glad to have kids back!