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Community Boat Building (CBB)

 21 Liberty Drive
 Boston, MA 02210
[P] (617) 428-0155
[F] (617) 428-0156
Stockton Reece
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2261109

LAST UPDATED: 09/07/2018
Organization DBA Community Boat Building
Former Names Boston Family Boat Building (2013)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

Community Boat Building’s mission is to bring real world experience and academic skills together to build both a seaworthy boat and an excitement for education among low income elementary school students in Boston Public Schools.

Mission Statement

Community Boat Building’s mission is to bring real world experience and academic skills together to build both a seaworthy boat and an excitement for education among low income elementary school students in Boston Public Schools.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Income $601,525.00
Projected Expense $594,708.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Community Boat Building

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Community Boat Building’s mission is to bring real world experience and academic skills together to build both a seaworthy boat and an excitement for education among low income elementary school students in Boston Public Schools.

Background Statement

CBB was founded in 2007 by John Rowse to address a need for experiential education that he identified while serving as a Boston Public Schools 5th grade teacher. Beginning with a boat built in the hallway of the school, John developed a curriculum for teaching math, spatial thinking, engineering, teamwork, and self-confidence through hands-on engagement.

CBB's programs are effective at re-engaging students in their learning because they are engrossed in a tangible and exciting project. Even after students finish their boats, classroom teachers report higher levels of engagement with their classroom studies. Furthermore, the boat building project offers students an opportunity to develop their spatial reasoning skills - understanding how objects interrelate in three dimensions - which studies suggest are as important to learning as literacy.
Before long Boston Family Boat Building (now CBB) grew to become its own non-profit organization delivering programs to partner schools in Boston. Over 1,000 students have benefited from CBB program since its founding.
Current partner schools Harvard-Kent Elementary and Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School implemented CBB programs in 2013 and 2015, respectively. CBB provides each school with a year-round suite of programs during the academic day that reinforce each other and the classroom curriculum, leading to significant student advancement.

Impact Statement

CBB makes a dramatic impact on the educations of over 200 students every year in some of Boston's most economically disadvantaged public schools.We work to close the achievement gap by introducing maritime-focused experiential education to students that do not have access to similar opportunities.

Our two partner schools are Young Achievers in Mattapan and the Harvard-Kent School in Charlestown. Over the 2016-17 school year CBB students built and launched 18 boats. Each boat was built by a team of 5 students in our shop in Boston's Seaport District and represents a real-world application of the math, engineering, and teamwork they are learning in the classroom. Benefits to our students are reflected in higher test scores, increased self-confidence, comfort on and near the water, and an understanding of Boston as a maritime city.
This year, CBB students will build another 26 boats, learn to swim and row, complete a maritime-focused oral history project, sail aboard a historic wooden schooner, and use their own boats to conduct water quality research and marine science programs. We will work with more students than ever before - over 250 this year - as class sizes grow at our partner schools. 

Needs Statement

Since 2013, CBB has worked with students at the Harvard-Kent School in Charlestown where there are 541 students enrolled. According to Boston Public Schools, The Harvard-Kent School highest percentage of economically disadvantaged students in the city.

Two years ago, CBB began work with 4th and 5th graders at the Young Achievers School in Mattapan where there are 518 students enrolled. Young Achievers also has one of highest populations of economically disadvantaged students in the city.
CBB only functions with the support of our community!
  • While our schools are active partners, CBB draws nearly all its funding from private donations from foundations and individuals.
  • Each boat that CBB build costs roughly $800 in materials.
  • Tools like drills, safety glasses, saws, hand-planes, clamps and chisels need to be purchased and maintained for our students.
  •  CBB always needs handy volunteers to help work on the boats our students build in our workshop.

CEO Statement

I came to Community Boat Building because I felt that it represented an innovative model for addressing the "achievement gap" in Boston, because I thought the people at the organization were extraordinary, and because every student can excel given the right opportunities.
Our students are so excited to build a boat with us that they forget how much they learn in the process. Have you ever seen a fifth grader excited to multiply and divide fractions? I have, because our teachers and our curriculum take the tediousness out of the exercise. Why do we have a significantly lower rate of behavior issues than occurs in the classroom? Because our students are self-motivated to focus on their task and provided the support to accomplish it successfully. The lessons from our students' experience with us stay with them when they approach other tasks in the classroom and they are more determined to persevere through difficult topics, more encouraging to their classmates, and more capable of identifying the real-world applications of their learning.
CBB represents an opportunity to move beyond arguments about school funding, charter schools, and fair allocation of resources. We are not participating in a zero-sum game. Every dollar that we raise enables CBB to add educational resources where they are needed most and provide underprivileged students with a foundation for a brighter academic future.

Board Chair Statement

As chairman and volunteer I have witnessed the capacity of CBB to transform the lives of adult volunteers and the children the program serves. Children experience the application of their minds in lofting, measuring and translating a two dimensional drawing into a three dimensional, curved object. With their hands they make concepts tangible. Then, in the spring, they sit in the boats they built and row them away on Jamaica Pond; learned facts applied to materials manipulated yield the joy of an utterly new experience in a strange, new environment.
Volunteers, most retired men who have a passion for boats, maintain a shop, mill lumber, build boat parts finish out and paint the student-built boats, assist John Rowse in the class room, and in the spring teach students to row. CBB enables them to do something concrete and specific directly for a population of inner-city children, not as charity, but in partnership with the children. Building boats and the learning inherit in the project is a joint venture between primarily white middle class adults and primarily minority low-income students. The project is for me a magical celebration of the richness of radically diverse populations working together.
I am dedicated to this organization for its capacity to change lives for the better, but also for the potential it has to accelerate change in the way schools teach and students learn. CBB is a model for learning through experience and has demonstrated how projects like it can be integrated into a Boston elementary school.
We have two challenges. One is to document more thoroughly the impact of the program on learning, social skills and world view of the children. While comparative analysis of MCAS results indicates positive impact on learning, partnerships need to be developed with local academic institutions to conduct more rigorous impact studies. A second challenge is expanding the number of teachers in the program that will overtime build a core faculty essential for long-term sustainability.
We have identified and convened a group of advisors expert in experiential learning and its integration into Boston Public Schools to guide both the expansion and evaluative research.

Geographic Area Served

CBB serves students in Boston Public Schools.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools
  2. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development


Community Boat Building

Over 200 4th and 5th grade participants work with CBB in and outside the classroom during the school day throughout the year, learning by doing hands on boat building, science experiments around the maritime environment, historical study and sailing. 4th grade students work on a curriculum that previews and prepares them for boat building the following year.

In the fall, 4th graders work with their classroom teachers on a science, math and geography syllabus, which serves as an introduction to the 5th grade program. In June, 4th graders spend 5 days aboard the Schooner Roseway. 

Other activities include swimming and rowing lessons. CBB provides transportation and logistical support to ensure that students can universally access the program and participate at our work shop. The students rowing practices will culminate in Launch Day in mid June for boats previously built by the students. These activities give students the confidence and skill set to enjoy maritime activities and the wonders of the Boston harbors.  


Budget  $612,788.00
Category  Education, General/Other Partnerships in Education
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success 

CBB’s objectives for the 2016-2017 academic year include:

•Expose 250 new students to CBB programming.

•Build and launch 24 new student-built wooden row boats.

•Build on the success of the Harvard-Kent school moving from level 3 to level 1 according to Massachusetts school evaluation guidelines.
•Receive endorsement from all classroom teachers whose students engage with our program.
•Expand marine science learning opportunities, including water quality testing and marine ecology.


Program Long-Term Success 

CBB's long-term objectives include:

•Reduce the Achievement gap between wealthy students and poor students in the Boston area.

•Deepen students' understanding of what it means to apply their classroom skills in the real world

•Engage students in learning over the long term, leading higher percentages of the overall population to graduate from high school and enroll in college.

•Continue to expand CBB's offerings and reach more students in Boston Public Schools with our experiential learning opportunities.


Program Success Monitored By 

•Past testing indicates that CBB participants' spatial thinking skills grew by 56% compared to testing conducted prior to engagement with the program.

•Peer comparison testing focusing on STEM activities and students social-emotional growth conducted by Boston After School and Beyond

•0 accidents in shop involving treatment beyond the use of an adhesive bandage (splinters and scrapes)

•Student surveys reflecting on the value of the program and changed attitudes towards education and teamwork.
Examples of Program Success 
CBB has seen numerous examples of the impact of our program:
  •  Desean, had attended school only a handful of times until he started boat building with his team in October. Desean excelled in the shop, attended every day of boat building, and missed only a handful of school days for the remainder of the academic year.
  • Daya was shy and diffident in the classroom. She came to boat building during the school year and her confidence significantly increased at school. She received a scholarship to attend our summer program, during which she created her own project, creating a cradle for her model sailboat. On her own, she reverse engineered an example in the shop, built a copy out of scraps wood that was available, and learned a huge lesson about what she is capable of and how to use the tools around her to achieve her goals.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our work to date has supported many students to succeed at a higher level. That is evident from our analysis of the improvement in MCAS scores, our own testing of three dimensional visualization skills, and the self-confidence and pride that are registered on student surveys. This success has attracted attention from others wishing to bring the program to their schools and from funders interested in supporting that effort. Our biggest challenges will be to raise the funds to implement our strategic plan, continue to find new ways to measure our progress and manage our growth in a way that leads to more successful, exciting opportunities and experiences for teachers to teach and students to learn.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Stockton Reece
CEO Term Start Aug 2015
CEO Email
CEO Experience Stockton joined CBB as Executive Director in August of 2015, bringing experience in non-profit management consulting and fundraising. Stockton grew up sailing and boating on Cape Cod, graduated from Colgate University, and earned his MBA at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Joining Community Boat Building presented an ideal opportunity to combine his passions for the water, education, and social justice.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
John Rowse June 2007 Aug 2015

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mr. Alden Burnham Teacher --
Kelly Crawford Program Organizer --
Mr. Robert McCarty Boat Building Teacher --
Mr. Stockton Reece Executive Director --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Collaborations enrich our program and expand our capacity.  CBB collaborates with Hull Lifesaving Museum, Bingham Lumber Company, World Ocean School/Schooner Roseway, the Society of Arts and Crafts, Courageous Sailing and the Jamaica Pond Boathouse, Northeastern University, UMass Boston, and others.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

CBB operates under the fiscal sponsorship of Third Sector New England, allowing us to access some of the back-office functions of a much larger organization.

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 4
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 15
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 2
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Jennifer Hunnewell
Board Chair Company Affiliation GMO
Board Chair Term July 2014 - June 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ken Glidden Basis Technology Voting
Jennifer Hunnewell GMO Voting
David Moncton MIT Voting
Stockton Reece Community Boat Building Exofficio

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 1
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 50%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

CBB continues to work to expand the makeup and role of our Board of Advisors. We seek input from the student perspective through parents of students who are or have been in the program, teacher and school perspective through administrators and educators, and networks to funding sources, government, and local businesses through professionals who have in interest in our program.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $648,638 $559,700 $457,651
Total Expenses $608,872 $553,880 $452,876

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$313,316 $244,908 $130,605
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $60,992 $30,591 $49,290
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $34,805 $44,616 $37,826
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $239,525 $239,585 $239,525
Other -- -- $405

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $451,241 $410,443 $354,762
Administration Expense $145,981 $132,587 $87,017
Fundraising Expense $11,650 $10,850 $11,097
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.07 1.01 1.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses 74% 74% 78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 3% 4% 6%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $78,071 $47,601 $38,223
Current Assets $78,071 $47,601 $38,223
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $25,819 $25,003 $20,247
Total Net Assets $52,252 $22,598 $17,976

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 3.02 1.90 1.89

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

We have attached the audits and 990's. The audits and 990's are for TSNE, our fiscal sponsor. Find detail about Community Boat Building on p.21 of the audit.

Foundation Comments

This organization is fiscally sponsored by Third Sector New England (TSNE). The Form 990s and audits posted above are per TSNE. Page 21 of the TSNE audit document(s) contain financial data pertaining specifically to Community Boat Building (CBB). The financial data in the charts and graphs above is per CBB.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


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