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Program to teach Richmond County second-graders to swim

Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012 6:57 PM
Last updated 7:01 PM
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The Family Y of Greater Augusta and The Salvation Army of Augusta Kroc Center announced Thursday a partnership that will provide a free water safety course to all 2,555 Richmond County second-graders.

The water safety course, named SPLASH, will take place at the indoor pools of the Wilson Family Y and the Family Y of Downtown Augusta beginning Monday and at the Kroc Center of Augusta beginning Jan. 23. The lessons will be offered during school hours, and free transportation will be provided between school and the three locations.

SPLASH is a one-hour-per-day, five-day course that teaches children to be safe around water. SPLASH is an acronym for “Swim, Play and Learn Aquatics Safety Habits” and is a national YMCA initiative. Children enrolled in the course will learn how to recognize a lifeguard at a pool, identify and respond to someone drowning and call 911, be safe around water, and other basic water awareness skills that could save someone’s life.

The Family Y has offered SPLASH as a free community service during the past two summers. More than 1,000 children learned life-saving skills through participation. However, the Y wanted to broaden the scope of the program and invited the Kroc Center to help in approaching the Richmond County Board of Education for collaboration.

“We are thrilled to know that every second-grader in Richmond County will have the opportunity to learn these basic safety skills,” said Danny McConnell, the president and CEO of The Family Y. “We selected second-graders as our target audience because drowning is the second-leading cause of childhood deaths. First-graders are still adjusting to beginning school and third grade is a testing year. Second-graders are at the perfect age to develop a love of the water while learning skills that will last a lifetime.”

“The Kroc Center partnered with The Family Y to offer SPLASH because part of our mission is to provide programs that will promote positive, life changing experiences,” said Heather Linn-Altman, the health and wellness manager for the Kroc Center. “The entire community will benefit from the program because the skills learned by the students not only help the student, but also all those they could potentially save including teachers, classmates, friends and parents.”

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raul
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raul 01/05/12 - 10:33 pm
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Do they actually learn to

Do they actually learn to swim? I don't see that in the course description. Maybe I am missing something or it is implied they are taught actual swimming skills and not just water safety skills?

aubaug
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aubaug 01/05/12 - 11:45 pm
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Could the school system

Could the school system PLEASE concentrate on academics?! Could the school system begin to GIVE RESPONSIBILITY BACK TO THE PARENTS, where it belongs?!

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/06/12 - 07:06 am
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Same thought raul. I thought

Same thought raul. I thought the previous articles on this stated the children would learn how to swim. If this is nothing more than an instructional class, why can't they do it at the school? Save time and money (transportation cost).

David Parker
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David Parker 01/06/12 - 09:27 am
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I'm down with it. TOo many

I'm down with it. TOo many fatalalities out at the Lake in recent years that are directly b/c somebody couldn't swim. Then somebody else jumps in to help and they can't swim. VERY important skill ! If the course doesn't teach actually swimming and treading water, I would say scrap it for academics too.

raul
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raul 01/06/12 - 12:42 pm
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I read under related links

I read under related links More about SPLASH. It seems that there is some basic "in the water' type of water skills as part of the program. I still think that parents should assume this responsibility instead of the nanny state, and leave classroom time for academics. But since it has already been decided, maybe this program will help save a kid who might have otherwise drowned.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 01/06/12 - 03:56 pm
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In my opinion one of the

In my opinion one of the most important aspects of teaching swimming is to teach how to get out of a pool anywhere you are. Never allowed mine to use steps and ladders while learning to swim. Anything these children learn about water safety will be beneficial.

David Parker
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David Parker 01/06/12 - 04:44 pm
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if one falls in the water,

if one falls in the water, which is more vital, the ability to read or the ability to swim? I support teaching them to swim, but not specilized instruction on proper stroke technique, diving, swim to increase cardio, etc. It's all good stuff but just keep on task and learn them to float and dog paddle.

aubaug
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aubaug 01/07/12 - 01:08 am
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SPLASH is a wonderful

SPLASH is a wonderful program. There are many, many beneficial programs that could be offered to the children of Richmond County. However, the children of Richmond County need to learn to read, write, and develop their math skills. Where does Richmond County rank in the State? How many schools failed to make AYP? Academic skills should be the primary focus of the Richmond County School District. Academics should be the primary focus of the AMERICAN SCHOOL SYSTEM! The American school system has really lost its focus. Our children cannot achieve academically if academics are not the main focal point in our schools! Are we still 25th in the world as far as academics?

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