Students with the non-profit organization Teach My People were the first benefactors of the Mary McAlister Scholarship Sailing Program at the South Carolina Maritime Museum.

Donations were given in McAlister’s name, who died in April 2018, to start the program. Her husband Robert McAlister said they chose Teach My People for the first class and will continue with a different organization annually.

“This is great,” he said. “Mary was with others that started the sailing program five years ago.”

McAlister said the sailing program was something he wife wanted to do and 1500 kids have learned to sail as a result of it.

“This Optimist program is carried on all over the world,” he said. “It seemed like a natural thing to start. We built all of the boats ourselves. There has been such a positive response from the kids over the years that we expanded it to include bigger boats and now the scholarship program.”

Ten students from Teach my People attended camp July 31-Aug. 2 and Alma Thomas with the organization.

“I don’t think they were nervous,” Thomas said. “When they got into it, they enjoyed it and picked it up quickly. They learned how to assemble the boat and went out there and had a good time. ”

Sydney Register, an instructor with the camp, said the students picked up the sport quickly: “They learned quickly,” Register said. “The way that we structure the program is that they can pick up on it and get in a boat as fast as they can so they can learn hands-on. They learned a lot”