Our mission at Advance America Foundation and the purpose of our programs is to improve education not only in America burt world wide.  The more educated people are not only academically, but also in trade skills, and social interaction the greater and more positive will be the outcomes of human endeavor!  In particular we have found that while people in general agree that hands on activities are good for improving the education experience of not only our youth, but also for adults as well.  Since 1989 the Foundation has found that through observation and testing of many different motivational activities for children and young adults, that the number one activity for motivating our youth to want to study virtually any academic discipline is for them to build their own boat and learn how to use it.  Advance America Foundation developed a build a boat program called Sea Quest Kids in order to take advantage of the truly astonishing life changing impact that building a boat has on people.

Quick Overview of Sea Quest Kids History

Sea Quest Kids little league of boating, Kids Boating Network, and KBN Sea Action News are part of Advance America Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) public charity education foundation. We are guided by the Foundation authored education principle called “Optimization Through Total Environmental Awareness”. Fundamentally, it recognizes that all people regardless of situation want to have the best life that they possibly can. In order to do this all problems must be solved for the best solution you can possibly get. In the sciences and economics we know this as optimization.

In order to optimize one must consider all the variables that affect the outcome of any problem that we are trying to solve. Advance America Foundation coined the term “comprehensive optimal” to describe this situation. We also established the term environment to be comprehensive of all environments. The total environment is much more than just the physical environment of land, sea, and air. It encompasses the social environment, business environment, legal environment, political environment, family environment, historical environment, and etc.

To consider all of the variables in all of the environments that affect the outcome of a particular problem requires active aggressive thinking that cannot rely solely upon some electronic device to come up with a solution. This is contrary to education today where on average there is a heavy reliance on electronic devices to gather information and then do the problem solving by algorithms or other formulas.

In the Advance America system the best way to get better at problem solving is to train your brain. Since everyone can agree that they want to have the best life that they possibly can, this establishes an internal motivation for every person to want to learn. On average this is far superior to popular motivations such as getting the best job and/or making the most money that you can and having all the material things that you want. How about encouraging kids to think about the type of work they want to do regardless of what it is as long as it is honest work. Honest work is the standard which should be esteemed above any other consideration when people decide what kind of work they want to do.

The strength of “Optimization Through Total Environmental Awareness” is that it can be taught in every subject and at every grade level. Therefore, it becomes an academic unifier that serves as a reference point to guide the academic process to achieve the optimal level of success.

Since the 1980s the emphasis on improving education has greatly centered around making schools into educational Disney Worlds by rebuilding, re-outfitting, re-administrating, and reducing course requirements in the sciences, language, and physical education in order to mistakenly try to make education easier and more fun. Throwing ever increasing amounts of money at the problem has been the means of choice. If a student doesn’t want to learn, no amount of educational Disney World or re-administrating, or reducing course requirements is going to make the student want to learn.

The key is establishing with the student that the main goal they have in life is that they want to have the best life they possibly can. Now an internal motivation to want to learn is established and the student is locked into a logic from which there is no escape. In order to have the best life that you possibly can, you must solve all problems for optimal solutions, “comprehensive optimals”. The optimal way to do that is to train your brain. The optimization process requires active thinking and better solutions will be had as your brain becomes stronger! The perfect analogy is athletes training to become better at their sport and that becoming better can only result from more training!

Since 1989, many education programs and activities have been presented to Advance America Foundation as best means of motivating students to want to learn. Our Board of Directors asked to have a hands-on education program for kids. A boat building program for kids was started! Anecdotally we found after two years that they number one motivator for kids to want to learn virtually any academic discipline was for them to build their own boat and learn how to use it.

In 2005 the Foundation added the Kids Broadcasting Network, KBN Sea Action News, Kids Boating Network, and KBN Sea Action News. The KBN Sea Action News team produced the largest boating and water safety education video series ever done in the marine industry. Video footage was shot in the US, Canada, Germany, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and France. We are indeed international!

In the boat building program, kids from four years old through college age and including all special needs kids build their own Sea Quest 100 ten foot double ender scow-skiff in two days or less, paddles, oars, mast, sail, sail rig, and outboard motor bracket. The boat is a one design class made of ordinary non exotic materials and built by the kids so that no kid shows up to a Sea Quest Kids event in a rocket ship that no kid would ever build. Our program also eliminates a war of pocket books where the kid with the most money wins because he or she can afford better materials and support than anyone else.

The Sea Quest 100 holds over 1,100 lbs and with the broad flat bottom and 42” beam is the ultimate stable platform on which to work! Seeding oyster and clam beds, stocking fish, and casting seine nets to collect samples of fish and plant life can all easily be done from the Sea Quest 100. Western Liberty University in West Virginia is currently building Sea Quest 100s to have a fleet of research vessels for the Biology Department.

The appeal of Sea Quest Kids is very broad based. Inner city groups, special needs of every type, all minorities, juvenile justice programs, and groups you would not normally think would be interested in building boats such as girls. Sixty percent of our boat builders are girls! We have already started work with Native American kids on the Navajo Reservation at Smith Lake/Gallup, New Mexico. Most people have fantasized about being on a boat, laying back and free gently bobbing up and down with the sun beaming down on you, and a warm gentle breeze on you! It is a very strong subconscious desire that when realized with their own effort is exceedingly transformative to kids. Their confidence level goes off the charts! A group of twenty three kids from four years old to eleven years old at a boys and girls club had literally just finished building their boat and came up to event director Steve Gronka and asked to build a sky scraper. The kids literally thought they could! Gronka said, “I appreciate your confidence and appreciate your enthusiasm, but we have a few more steps to go before we start building skyscrapers!”

Sea Quest Kids can take on the dimensions of little league when the various groups that work with kids and have built Sea Quest 100s challenge each other to paddle races, sailing regattas, outboard engine races, and when other activities such as overnight campouts and water way cleanups are done.

Sea Quest Kids and Advance America Foundation are a valuable resource that could be well used by any group interested in improving education and providing kids with the most life changing and motivating education activities!

Meet the Team

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Steve Video Tapes 9-11 2014

Steve Gronka

Founder & Fearless Leader

The Government Doesn’t like my title so on taxes and government forms they make me put CEO instead of Fearless Leader

Helping children and people in general has been a life long pursuit. In the realm of water safety and boating the first life I helped to save was a five year old boy drowning at a crowded swimming area in a lake near Nanticoke Pennsylvania.  I was about five at the time.  I ran to get a lifeguard to come and save the boy.  Over the years especially in Hobie Cat Sailing versus normal rescues of just righting a boat I have made over 200 life saving rescues in every kind of condition including low temperatures and gale force conditions.  The Coast Guard in Cape May eventually grew to recognize my boat and sail and would stand by until I brought victims and their boats to shore in Stone Harbor and Avalon New Jersey.  Other than rescues I have a long history in the area of film, televison and video production starting in 1979 with my first series on televsion. It was a nationally syndicated Christian Musical Variety Show called “Let There Be Happiness” which was named hosted and coproduced by Gene Clark now of Smyrna Delaware.  We were in 13 of the top 20 TV markets in the country.  This show was the first of its kind for Christian entertainers.


Judy Lane Frazier

Founder and President of We The Kids

Division of Advance America Foundation

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Clem Palmer

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