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Second Graders Learn to Swim



LIBERTY SECOND graders were presented T-shirts for participating in the Everyone in the Pool Program by Stacie Hobbs, YMCA aquatics director and Brook Lindsay, president of the Kaw Lake Educational Foundation. Pictured, from left, are second graders Baylee Feathers, Mileen Kanel, Alena Ramirez, Bob Bunglick and William Kent.

LIBERTY SECOND graders were presented T-shirts for participating in the Everyone in the Pool Program by Stacie Hobbs, YMCA aquatics director and Brook Lindsay, president of the Kaw Lake Educational Foundation. Pictured, from left, are second graders Baylee Feathers, Mileen Kanel, Alena Ramirez, Bob Bunglick and William Kent.

Brook Lindsay, president of the Kaw Lake Educational Foundation (KLEF) and Stacie Hobbs, aquatics and fitness director for the Ponca City YMCA presented special T-shirts to Ponca City second graders participating in the Everyone in the Pool (EIP) program the final week of school.

The Everyone in the Pool Program providing swim lessons to Ponca City Public Schools second graders continues to expand with the financial assistance of the Kaw Lake Educational Foundation (KLEF) and instruction from the YMCA. Other program partners include the Ponca City Public Schools, George and KaySue Smith, The Dow Family and Keaton’s Ride.

“Our goal ultimately is to offer swim lessons to all second graders in Ponca City each year,” said Brook Lindsay, KLEF president.

This past school year the program provided lessons to Lincoln, Liberty, Union, Roosevelt and Garfield Elementary second graders.

The program began with the KLEF wanting to promote drowning prevention. When the Ponca City YMCA agreed to run the program for the foundation it was decided to begin with Lincoln Elementary second graders as a pilot program. It has been expanded since then.

Students spend the first week of lessons in the classroom reading and discussing what to expect upon visiting the Y.

Then the children are in the water for a 30 minute class once a week. Students are evaluated by the swim instructors on their swimming ability.

Each year, more than 3,400 people drown in the U.S., including more than 700 children under the age of 14. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70 percent of African-Americans, 60 percent of Latinos and 40 percent of Caucasians do not know how to swim

“Learning to swim is the best thing anyone can do to be safe in and around water,” said Aquatics Director Stacie Hobbs.

“We are committed to providing $1000 of the funding for each Ponca City Public School’s second graders,” said Bill Rutz, KLEF board member. “KLEF would like to encourage other area businesses, especially those that are Partners in Education (PIE) partners to help with the funding for other schools second grades.”

For more information about the program or other Y aquatic programs, contact Stacie Hobbs at (580) 765-5417 or email shobbs@ymcaofponcacity.

It is the mission of the UMCA to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

The Kaw Lake Educational Foundation prepares and disseminates educational information regarding wildlife conservation, water safety, floor control and fishing and boating safety, with a focus on the Kaw Lake area in Kay and Osage Counties. In addition to funding the swim lesson program the foundation promotes water safety with a media campaign in the summer and has created a kiosk at Sandy Beach providing loaner life jackets. For more information phone 580-716-9015 or e-mail kawlake@cableone.net.

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