As you may know, I am an avid swimmer, and I strongly believe in teaching children (and adults) to swim. I always say that you have to know enough to be able to save yourself and your child.
This becomes even more relevant when you read the alarming drowning statistics - particularly as these concern African Americans and Latin Americans... according to a recent CNN article highlighting water safety hero, Wanda Butts, only 60-70% of these minority kids can swim, and the drowning rate of African American kids is three times that of white kids.
While water safety may not immediately seem like a school issue, we have an amazing opportunity to connect swimming to what we already offer as general education. We can save lives.
Schools have a lot on their plates, already, but if we educators can help reduce the drowning rates from current levels of 30,000 drownings per month, this is a great step forward for education and for life. In fact, Congress recently passed a resolution to support water safety education in schools.
This is a result of the hard work of Shaun Anderson and Jayson Jackson, founders of Diversity in Acquatics, who are leading the charge to make a planet that's, "70% water, 100% safe." They have started an international movement to raise awareness through International Water Safety Day (IWSD)on May 15th, that encourages schools--along with lifeguards, swim professionals, and everyone else--to take time out to teach simple tips for water safety.
If you missed it this year, look out for next year's exciting event and a positive way to a great way to get ready for summer!