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Registration is now open!

Join Jackson-Reed Crew's Learn-to-Row program this winter!

The 2022-23 Jackson-Reed Crew Middle School Crew LTR dues for Winter 2022 are $300  and will be invoiced after registration.

Jackson-Reed Crew Middle School Learn-to-Row (LTR)

Learn-to-Row is an amazing opportunity for eighth graders to get a taste of the sport of crew - or rowing! The program is designed for kids with no previous exposure to the sport - though if you attended a summer camp, you’ll be in the right place too! Our program  are all about fostering the fun experience of working together as a group and learning the ropes of rowing. Join us to find out if this might be the sport for you - and have a new adventure regardless!

The LTR program covers the rowing stroke technique: first on the rowing machine (“erg” or ergometer may become a common word at home) and then on the water. Rowers will learn the rules and etiquette of the boathouse as well as do cross training to build fitness and how to prevent injuries.

Rowing features two key “positions” - rowers who use their oars to move the boat - and coxswains - typically smaller people who sit and steer while coaching and giving tips. This set-up means we have space on the team for people of all shapes and sizes! We are excited to be back for another year of Middle School rowing and hope you’ll join us!

The program is open to all eighth graders. Once progressing to the high school team, Jackson-Reed rowers may attend any DC public high school, but the majority are Jackson-Reed and School Without Walls students. A swim test is required and provided by the Jackson-Reed Crew Boosters prior to the start of the program.

Schedule for Winter 2023

December 3, 2022 to March 11, 2023

Tuesdays, 5 to 7PM at Jackson-Reed High School

Saturdays 10AM to 12 noon at Jackson-Reed High School


Jackson-Reed Crew has a long history of welcoming interested 8th grade students from middle schools in Washington, DC, to learn about the sport of rowing through a robust program that includes learning to row on the Potomac, engaging in winter conditioning and erg competitions, and building teamwork and fitness. 

The program is for DCPS students in the Jackson-Reed HS feeder pattern (Oyster, Deal, Hardy) or other 8th graders intending to enroll at Jackson-Reed in the next academic year.

The Swim Test

All athletes new to Jackson-Reed Crew must take a swim test.

Exceptions are allowed for athletes who previously passed a swim test for the 8th grade Learn-to-Row program and athletes who would rather wear an approved personal flotation device (PFD) while on the water. 

Athletes should wear wear non-cotton athletic clothing for the test.

● Part 1: Swim 100 yards with any stroke or combination of strokes without stopping or hanging on the ends or lane lines.  Speed and form do not matter.

● Part 2: Tread water for 5 minutes

If you fail the swim test, you can still participate in Jackson-Reed Crew but you will have to wear an approved PFD at all times when you are on the water.  Once you feel your swimming abilities and/or fitness have improved enough, inform your coach and he/she will setup another swim test.

Swim instruction resources:

DC Parks and Recreation - Learn to Swim Programs

National Capital Swim School

Charlotte Taft

Learn-To-Row Coach

Charlotte has been rowing or coaching since 1997. She began rowing at Phillips Exeter and after a summer with the USRowing junior development squad, continued at Yale University, where she was a four-time NCAA Championship invitee, Women’s Sprints gold medalist, Head of the Charles winner, and Academic All-American.

Her coaching career started in 2002 when she ran the Ann Arbor Rowing Club summer youth competitive program. Over the years, she also coached youth and masters Learn-to-Row and masters sweep at Ann Arbor. While in college, Charlotte coached for two summers for Yale Community Rowing and ran a learn-to-row program for teen mothers in New Haven. She also served as assistant coach to the Ann Arbor Huron High School Girls Varsity. While she was at Huron, the girls fours and eights were consistent Midwest Junior Rowing Championships grand finalists and SRAA invitees, including bronze medal place in the Varsity and JV 4+.

Off the water, Charlotte is a Data Discovery and Visual Analytics Consultant with Slalom. She enjoys mystery novels, board games, and her brother's dogs (@alfalfa_n_maple).

Charlotte Taft

Charlotte Taft

Middle School Head Coach

Jessica Neill

Learn-to-Row assistant Coach

Jessica began her coxswain career in 2014 at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) where she served as captain for her last 2 years before graduating. She has since coxed for various teams in Tennessee and the DC area for the past 8 years. When she's not coaching, she's up early mornings coxing for Rock Creek Rowing. After earning her Master's in Peace and Conflict Resolution from GMU, Jessica now works as a mediation specialist for Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center.