Featuring: R.E.A.C.H. Utah – Utah Pirate
501(c)(3) Nonprofit of Story, Imaginative Play, & Much More
Photo Credit: Vladimir Chopine
The skeleton flag billows out from the pirate ship through R.E.A.C.H. Utah / Utah Pirate across many lands–from FanX to the Utah Renaissance Faire. Oftentimes, R.E.A.C.H. Utah is shared on the same line as Utah Pirate. Though this organization is much more than pirate ships that inspire imaginative play. These people dress as pirates, mermaids, and even King Arthur himself as they enter schools to teach how to develop stories while simultaneously teaching anti-bullying, literacy, history and the arts. We are thrilled that they participated at the 4th Annual Story Crossroads Festival during the “We All Have Stories” Family Marketplace.
On May 15, 2019, the wind was summoned and that skeleton flag waved to all who came. Some families and Cub Scout groups explored the ship and created their own stories as they became pirates themselves. They met a mermaid, whose red hair cascaded down her shoulders.
We had hoped to have at least 400 people attend the “We All Have Stories” Family Marketplace. We had no more than 150 people. Perhaps people were worried to fly away in the wind. Yet, the people who did come were delighted and clamored about the pirate ship. The Story Train, that rode near the pirate ship, had many passengers. Several vendors had to weigh down their canopies with water jugs or cement blocks. One of the canopies blew out from the volunteers attempting to put it up. One person even landed on the canopy due to the intense wind. Thankfully, everyone was fine…except for the canopy.
Though, the pirate ship was never in danger of collapsing. That ship was built to withstand any storm.
Starting an organization like R.E.A.C.H. Utah / Utah Pirate can be as adventurous as facing a storm. Mandy Brown and Tyler Young are the main strength behind R.E.A.C.H. Utah / Utah Pirate. Mandy, in particular, founded the whole idea and already had experience working with elementary schools. She formerly worked for the Utah Board of Education and is aware of the latest on curriculum standards and what teachers are in need of most. Tyler joined the team in 2014, about a year after Mandy brought the organization into being.
Many other volunteers and people work with them including support from Dungeon Crawlers Radio and Paragon City Games.
Here are the R.E.A.C.H. Utah programs (from website):
King Arthur Anti-Bullying
King Arthur and his Knights come into your schools and classrooms to teach about the topic of anti-bullying. We not only teach how to deal with a bully, but also teach how bullying affects everyone involved.
Every Day Super Hero
We bring in various super heroes (such as Spiderman, Batman, or Wonder Woman) to teach that every person has a super hero inside. We also teach that being a super hero is more than just putting on a costume or having a super power.
We currently offer interactive lessons in Siege weapons, Pirates, including Pirate History, Map Making and Pirate Flags, the Medieval Time period and Renaissance time period. These lessons are taught by various characters.
We offer a creative writing class, where we emerge the students into a story line and have them finish out. Striking the imagination and helping them learn to use it.
We currently offer basic lessons in Renaissance art using Michelangelo. We construct an art challenge to show students how difficult it was for him to paint the Sistine Chapel.
We currently offer basic lessons in Siege weapon history, including the science, technology and math behind them. This lesson, kids get to use and fire siege weapons and make their own mini catapults.
Take a picture anytime you see their ship at various events and parades. Post on their Facebook page or your own page to show how far that ship has sailed. Add the hashtag #FoundTheShip.