As summer approaches, the importance of water safety grows to be even more critical, especially in coastal communities. The Long Beach Public Schools provided optional second grade swim lessons after-school in May and early June, which equipped more than 140 participants with basic swimming skills and safety techniques.
District administrators and staff members recognized the need to continue this program, which is typically held during the school day but was adjusted this year in light of the pandemic. A total of seven sessions were offered over the course of several weeks for students from all four elementary buildings, free of charge, and busing to the pool housed at Long Beach High School was provided. The program is consistent with American Red Cross levels one and two, and was led by instructors Katherine Harris, Cliff Skudin, Lynn Volosevich and Dakota Ejnes, as well as lifeguards.
“Swimming is an essential safety skill for all children, especially for those growing up on a barrier island,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jennifer Gallagher said. “We were so happy to be able to find a way to ensure that our students didn't miss out on this program because of the pandemic. I am really grateful to our Athletic Director, Arnie Epstein, who moved mountains (or maybe oceans!) to make this program happen this year.”