EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – As the weather warms up and the pool covers come off, the risk of tragic drowning incidents increases for Oklahoma children.
In fact, it’s the leading cause of unintentional injury death in children ages one to four years old.
However, a local school is getting a huge boost to give swimming lessons to students who might not have had the chance to otherwise.
Inside Sunset Elementary, children are learning the basics of education, but there are some valuable lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom.
Water safety lessons can only be taught by diving in
“A lot of them wouldn’t be able to do it or have access to it if it wasn’t for this opportunity,” said Sunset Elementary School Counselor Akia Douglas.
Sunset is a Title 1 school, with more children on free and reduced lunches than any other in the Edmond district.
Many of the children live in apartments with pools.
“A lot of them use it without having swimming lessons, so that’s very dangerous,” Douglas said.
Thanks to a grant from the USA Swimming Foundation, they’re now getting the chance to take those lessons at Goldfish Swim School in Edmond.
Goldfish Edmond has donated $18,000, in addition to the grant money to fund 900 swimming lessons for up to 75 children at Sunset.
They’ll leave the lessons with valuable skills.
“The kids know what to do in a crisis situation, they know what to do when they’re being competitive or how to actually move their body through the water and then they teach them how to have fun safely,” said Kristy Blew with Goldfish Swim School in Edmond.
Families are taking advantage of it with great excitement, especially from the kids.
“Because they do want to swim, but some of them, they have that fear, like, ‘I’m afraid of water,’ but this – we get to help with that and navigate that for them,” Douglas said.