A Florida couple was inspired to use action sports to teach homeschooled children. It just so happened to come at a time for the Parkland, Florida, community had decided to homeschool their children following the February 2018 horrific shooting.
According to Fox News, the Frallicciardis live within ten minutes of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. After the shooting, the couple then met a number of local families who wanted to be involved in their educational program.
At that time, Uli Frallicciardi instantly “felt the need to kind of step up and serve the community,” he told Fox News. Surf Skate Science was initially sprung up from there.
Surfing and skateboarding are used to teach science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) to homeschooled students in kindergarten through high school in the program, which currently reaches many counties in South Florida.
Toni Frallicciardi told Fox News that surfing and skating are “two of the only sports that use all four sections of the brain,” she went on to say that the two sports not only promote “social, emotional, and intellectual learning,” but they are also a “great way for kids to put learning into action.”
The Frallicciardis learned to skate and surf as children, passing on their knowledge to their children and communities around the world. They not only built and ran their own skatepark for 15 years, but they also had two members of the first-ever U.S. Olympic skateboarding team, Jake Ilardi and Zion Wright, skate at the park before competing in the Tokyo Games.
Toni Frallicciardi, who has a degree in ocean engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology, teaches children in a 45-minute science lesson or lab at a skate park or beach. The Frallicciardis worked with only eight children when they first started the program, but the program now has approximately 120 children enrolled and there are still roughly 15 families on the waiting list.
“I learned that every kid learns a different way and some kids are visual learners, some kids are auditory learners, some kids, you know, learn through touching or feeling,” Toni Frallicciardi said. “Every time we do a lesson, I think, you know, how can they hear it, see it, feel it, taste it.”
Uli Frallicciardi claims that via his training, his students have gained self-confidence and a better understanding of what it means to be resilient, especially when faced with the difficult job of dropping in on a ramp or even paddling out to a wave.