Dr. Lisha Cabral, Superintendent
50 Oliver St.
North Easton, MA 02356
For Immediate Release
Monday, Feb. 11, 2019
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Easton Public Schools Partners with YMCA to Teach Students Water Safety
EASTON — Superintendent Lisha Cabral is pleased to announce that all Easton Public School second grade students will have the opportunity to learn essential water safety skills this year through the district’s ‘WaterWise’ program with the Old Colony YMCA.
The district’s partnership with the YMCA on the ‘WaterWise’ program began with a pilot of the course that was offered during the 2016 to 2017 school year, where two classes of second grade students from the Center School learned water safety techniques.
During the 2017 to 2018 school year, the program was opened to every second grade student in the district. This year, approximately 220 second graders will complete the program, and attend a weekly class at the YMCA for five weeks.
“It’s crucial for children to learn how to be safe in and around water,” Superintendent Cabral said. “We are so elated to partner with the Old Colony YMCA to teach students these skills. It’s our hope that through this program, many generations of students will learn water safety lessons that will serve them for years to come.”
According to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) drowning is the second leading cause of accidental deaths in children between the ages of one and 14.
Serah Selmon, executive director of the Old Colony YMCA, said the goal of the WaterWise program is to “drown proof” the community.
“Living in the Bay State, we (both organizations) knew we had a responsibility to keep our community safe,” Selmon said. “Any opportunity to give a child new skills, new lifelong fitness opportunities, better ensure safety and increase access to even more caring adult role models, is a win.”
Students in the program are taught to never get in the water unless they have clearly asked permission from a responsible adult. The course also teaches children “Swim-Float-Swim,” a safety technique where a child will swim, rest, and continue swimming when ready, should they find themselves in a position where they cannot touch the bottom of a body of water with their feet. Additionally, the course teaches students not to enter the water if someone else is in trouble, but instead to throw a floating object or reach out to the person in need of help while lying flat on their stomachs.
The WaterWise program also teaches students boat safety basics, including the importance of wearing a life-jacket.
The YMCA partners with Easton Public Schools in several other ways as well, including the before and after school programs run by the YMCA that are held at all Easton Public Elementary schools.