For many, summertime means water time. Trips to the beach or lake, rides in boats or on jet skis, and spending time cooling off at pools are common summer activities.
But as much fun as water can be, it can also be dangerous — especially for children.
To help mitigate some of the risks associated with water play, Carrollton City Schools has partnered with the city to offer swimming lessons to students involved in the summer enrichment program.
This effort was the brainchild of Travis Thomaston, director of student engagement at CCS.
“The idea came together because of the need for students to learn to swim for basic survival skills in water,” said Thomaston. “The initial thought process was to ensure that as many of the students in our community get exposed to the activity as early as possible.”
Carrollton City Manager David Brooks connected the district with John Layng from the Carrollton Parks and Recreation Department who Thomaston said was instrumental in helping to secure swimming locations and personnel that will instruct students in the water this summer.
“We are excited to partner with the Carrollton City Schools for these lessons,” said Layng. “Swimming is a sure sign that summer is here, and through a progressive learn-to-swim program, we are providing these students with skills that will last a lifetime. Carrollton City Schools has always been a valuable partner to us, so we anticipate that this program will only continue to grow!”
As for the summer swimming lessons, Thomaston said the district is expecting nearly 240 students to participate.
“We are instructing around 100 students from Carrollton Elementary School and about 140 between Carrollton Upper Elementary and Carrollton Middle School.”
Thomaston said he believes swimming is a survival skill every child should learn.
“All students should learn to swim as early in life as possible,” said Thomaston. “I was fortunate to have a local pool at our recreation center growing up. That’s where I learned to swim and the ability to do so has saved my life in stressful situations in water. This partnership between the district and the City of Carrollton will provide a much needed service to our families. The idea is that if one life is ever saved due to this partnership, it will be a huge win for our community.”
Teaching life skills to students is a priority for the district.
This spring, Carrollton High School held its second annual Senior Adulting Day — an idea CHS Principal Ian Lyle said is a way to better prepare students for the real world. The event featured different stations for seniors to visit to learn anything from sewing on a button to changing a tire to understanding the basics on how to take out a loan to buy a car.
Students may also take the Tools for Life course at CHS which teaches several of the items listed above as well as driver’s education which began being offered as an elective last year.