The Learning Harbor

What I hear, I forget.
What I see, I remember.
What I do, I understand.

We're building boats!

The Learning Harbor is a program through Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha designed to give our kids the educational, economic, and emotional tools they need to thrive after high school and into early adulthood.

Using an experiential educational model called "Building to Teach"  by the Alexandria Seaport Foundation, we have designed a program that promotes a hands-on building experience to help students improve their math and writing skills and prepare for their place in the workforce.

Great things happen when kids build something real, whether its boats, buildings, even guitars. They learn planning, communication and responsibility-all critical job skills. They discover abilities they didn't know they had and gain self-confidence. Plus, they come to see math as a useful tool in their lives.  This  January we started our second build and last years' class is back to refurbish a few canoes.

We always could use extra adult volunteers for this project...just call Dawn Gohlke (729-5600) if you are interested in helping out.

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Boat #2: Turtle


Check out the link to our newest video that captures our second boat build.  We started with about 13 kids and ended with about 6-9 regular kids after about 18 weeks of work.  (Video)

Boat 2: Turtle #2 Turtle





Donated Hand Tools Needed

Various wood working hand tools and clamps are needed for this program.  If you have a donation, please contact Mike Schmidt.


Monetary Donations Needed

Monetary donations are greatly appreciated to subsidize the cost of the building materials.  Just visit us online to make a donation.

Donate Now Button



Wish List

1 Session (15-18 weeks)  $3,200.00

Bevin's Skiff Kit $800.00

Coordless Drill Driver Set $150.00

Dinner for 1 Class $100.00

Oar Set $100.00

Polyurethane Adhesive ( 5 tubes) $85.00

Safety Outfitting (goggles, masks, and gloves) $85.00

Life Jackets (per child) $60.00

Block Planes $30.00

Orbital Sander $60.00

Pair of Clamps (4 in.) $10.00

Memory Books (per child) $25.00

Journals (per class) $10.00

Tape Measure (per child) $8.00