Ring Elementary School 2nd Graders Learn Aquatics Safety from YMCA

“Okay everyone, I’m going to show you the Patrick Starfish float,” said Jason Chinni, YMCA Aquatics Director. “Everyone float on your back with arms and legs out like a starfish. Here we go, float like Patrick Starfish.”

Ring Elementary Schools second grade students recently had the opportunity to learn more about water safety through the YMCA. The program is funded through the YMCA’s annual Partner with Youth campaign. Since our community is surrounded by water, it is important for local children to have water safety skills. Over 3,500 people drown each year in the US. One out of every five of those deaths are children under the age of 14 (that is 730 children). Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury related death in 1-14 year olds. Those alarming statistics are what drove the Jamestown YMCA to begin our Aquatic Safety Day program eight years ago. 

The ASD program is a hands-on learning experience where students learn three distinct components: Rules and Personal Safety, Helping Others, and Boating Safety including Lifejackets.  Each component consists of group discussion and practicing skills in the water.  Every child participates in all parts in and out of the water.  ASD ends with a review of what was learned and a short recreational swim.  Students receive a participation lanyard and coloring sheets that reiterate the lessons learned throughout the hour and a half.   Over the past 8 years, the YMCA has taught over 2,800 second grade students how to help themselves, and others in and around water and ice. All of the interactive activities are conducted by trained YMCA staff and lifeguards.

The goal of this program is to expose Jamestown School District’s second grade students to swimming and empower them to keep themselves safe around water, as well as to help save others should the need arise.  “What I see I may forget, what I hear I may not remember, what I do, I understand”.  This quote embodies the Jamestown YMCA’s Aquatic Safety Day. 

The Aquatic Safety Day program is a proven success.  It is the most requested field trip by the 2nd grade teachers, and has become a rite of passage for each second grade student in the Jamestown district. It is the most anticipated field trip of the year for them. ASD is still talked about by the first group of 2nd graders that went through the program eight years ago, the lesson making an obvious impact on them.

posted on 05/30/2017 - filed under: Athletics, Community, Elementary School, Physical Education, Spotlight, Students