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Second graders at Rollins Place Elementary learn water safety before summer break

2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago Thursday, May 09 2024 May 9, 2024 May 09, 2024 5:00 PM May 09, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

ZACHARY - More than 400 second graders at Rollins Place Elementary are getting hands-on experience in and around the pool at the YMCA to learn about water safety before they head out for the summer.

"They actually get in the pools, they get in kayaks, they learn how to put on a life vest, make sure it fits properly," Principal Kelli Day said. "Even if it saves just one life, it's worth it."

Louisiana has the highest drowning rates in the United States, and it's the 3rd leading cause of death for children under 14 in the state. The program is in its second year, but it's also part of a nationwide initiative to keep kids safe around the water, just in time for summer.

"We live in the bayou, we live around water whether that's a lake, a pond, a swimming pool. We just want them all to get a chance to get swim lessons in case something happens or they just go to a friend's house in the pool," 2nd grade teacher Lydia Carroll said.

The kids are not only learning how to swim, but they're learning critical skills that they may need in an emergency. 

"We have safety around the water, which is at the splash pad. That's where they're taught about ‘throw don't go’ so if they see a mate in trouble they know not to go out there with them, but to throw them something or reach something out to them so they can pull them in," John Smith with the Zachary YMCA said.

May 23 is the last day of school for the second graders, and Day hopes these lessons will stick with the children.  

"If there is something that they need to do to either help themselves or help somebody, hopefully they'll put this into action," Day said.

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