Grant helps educate Nanaimo third graders about water safety

Local waters are about to become safer for Grade 3 students in Nanaimo school district.

The City of Nanaimo and Nanaimo school district are the recipients of a $19,212 grant from the Lifesaving Society to provide the Swim to Survive Program to all local Grade 3 students this year.

The grant is administered by the Lifesaving Society and made possible by their funding partners, the Province of British Columbia, the RBC Foundation and the Recreation Foundation of British Columbia.

The Lifesaving Society’s Swim to Survive standard defines the essential minimum skills required to survive an unexpected fall into deep water.

The program consists of three in-water lessons of 45 minutes each, focusing on a sequence of three skills: roll entry, tread water for one minute, and swim 50 metres.

Classroom teachers also receive in-classroom water safety lessons to deliver to their students, augmenting the skills learned at the pool.

Dot Neary, school board chairwoman, said that the program is an example of the way that strong partnerships provide essential learning experiences for students.

“The board is very pleased that we are able, with the support of our partners, to provide such important lessons to all of our Grade 3 students.”

“Important life-saving skills like swimming in deep water are important for children to learn early in life,” said Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan.  “Today’s [Thursday] announcement of the Swim to Survive Program helps prepare our children for the unexpected in a way that is informative and enjoyable.

The Swim to Survive School Program will run in May and June and will train 941 Grade 3 children from 29 area elementary schools.

The Lifesaving Society projects that if every Canadian learned the Swim to Survive standard, the drowning rate would be reduced by half.

Their goal is to provide the training to 50 per cent of Grade 3 students in B.C. within a three-year period.

The Swim to Survive program is one of many designed by the Lifesaving Society to ensure safety in, on and around the water.

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