By Sail Newport/The Ocean Race Newport Stopover

Ocean Live Park, the race village celebrating The Ocean Race Newport, is as much about the sailors and the boats in the circumnavigation race as it is an educational experience for schoolchildren.

Through the sport of sailing, The Ocean Race promotes ocean literacy and marine stewardship through science, English, math and art with kindergarten to high school learning programs. With Sail Newport’s assistance, The Ocean Race curriculum has been taught to more than 60 teachers at 20 schools and eight outdoor education facilities across Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.

The schoolchildren who visited The Ocean Race Newport today engaged with exhibits such as the Exploration Zone-Presented by BankNewport. The interactive exhibition was uniquely created to inspire and inform all ages on the sport of sailing and the many facets of sustaining a clean ocean. Over 30 local nonprofits and mission-related organizations are participating in the showcase.

Also, the students were amazed and thrilled by the One Blue Voice Immersive Experience, presented by 11th Hour Racing. The multi-sensory show transported the students on a journey to discover the race below and gave the young visitors a new perspective on the ocean and its unsung heroes.

Among the groups today was one from St. Philomena School in Portsmouth, R.I. (pictured above). Teacher Alison Donovan led a group of 47 students who, in their own words, saw “boats, foils, videos and the pirate ship.” The pirate ship referred to by the student is actually is the Oliver Hazard Perry, the official flagship and tall ship ambassador of the State of Rhode Island which is docked at Sail Newport next the race boats.

When asked what they learned, a handful of kids enthusiastically responded in unison, “How to take care of the oceans!”

While the schoolchildren wrapped up their tour a special guest was welcomed by representatives from the Fort Adams Trust and nearby Salve Regina University.

Mary McAlesse, the eighth president of Ireland who served from 1997 to 2011, and current Chancellor of Trinity College in Dublin, and her husband Martin are visiting Newport to help Salve Regina University celebrate its 75th anniversary during commencement this weekend.

McAlesse toured Fort Adams, which was built on the strength of many Irish immigrants in the early to mid-19th century.

Martin & Mary McAlesse

Access to Ocean Live Park is free to all, although parking fees apply. The park is open this week, May 16-19, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, May 20-21, the park opens at 10 a.m. each day. It closes at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, visit The Ocean Race Newport

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