WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) informed U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) that the American Sail Training Association of Newport will receive $246,807 to expand its successful programs for at-risk youth.  The American Sail Training Association (ASTA) is a nonprofit organization that represents nearly 300 tall ships, sail training organizations, and schools in more than 25 states.  The ASTA offers programs to urban and disadvantaged youth to build character, foster teamwork, and develop leadership qualities, by connecting students' academic lessons to real life experiences while learning how to sail. Reed and Kennedy worked to secure funding for the program in fiscal year 2006. Reed stated, "The American Sail Training Association's programs in Rhode Island and elsewhere across the country allow young people who otherwise may not have the opportunity to participate in sailing learn and develop key skills such as leadership and teamwork. This federal funding will help the ASTA to reach more children and provide them with experiences and resources that they can use the rest of their lives." Kennedy stated, "It's so important to create a learning atmosphere that inspires a child to reach beyond their limits. The ASTA utilizes hands on experience to get youth engaged in educational programs that incorporate character building and life skills. I am so pleased that this funding will be used to help support such important work that is making a difference in the lives of so many and I can't think of a better classroom than Narragansett Bay."   Federal funding will be used to expand ASTA's scholarship and grant programs to make after school and out of school programs more accessible and affordable to young people in Rhode Island and other states. The DOJ's OJJDP provides grants to organizations to help keep juveniles out of the justice system include tutoring, mentoring, recreational activities and leadership development activities.