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Friday, February 20, 2015

Lesson to All MISD 3rd Graders: "Think. Don't Sink."

The second-most common accidental death for kids under the age of 10 is drowning. That's why Mansfield ISD makes sure every third grader in the district takes a water safety class.

Since 2006, the date the MISD Natatorium opened, water safety classes have been offered to teach children what to do when they are around water.

The safety class lasts for about three hours. The first section consists of an instructor teaching the children the main rules of staying safe around water:
  1. Think. Don't sink.
  2. Look before you leap
  3. Reach or throw. Don't Go. 
The second half of the class is when students put what they learned to the test. They get inside of the water and, depending on their swimming skills, pretend to rescue a coach and learn other safety tips.

Jerry Smith, diving coach and lead instructor, said he helped start the program to get a very important message across to children.

"Never get in the water with a drowning person," said Smith. "If we taught them that, then we just saved somebody's life."

Jerry Smith teaching water safety tips.
The classes start in third grade because most of the students are tall enough to touch the bottom of the shallowest part of the pool, which is 3-and-a-half feet. That is also the grade instructors say the students can comprehend most of the information.

Smith hopes that after each class, the students tell their parents and friends what they've learned so that the lessons of water safety spreads. Find out more information about the MISD Natatorium.