In a break from a rough week of news, something pleasant finally graced the the DTH editorial board. No, coronavirus has not been cured, and the future of American politics is still up in the air, but Orange County Schools will be providing free swim lessons starting next month. Ah, a news story that doesn’t induce a panic attack.
Starting early next month, some second-grade students in Orange County Schools will begin free swim lessons for physical education. These lessons will officially be part of their physical education curriculum in the schools.
According to the Daily Tar Heel, this program is a partnership between Orange County Schools, Swim for Charlie and the Orange County Sportsplex. Swim for Charlie is a nonprofit organization in Orange County with a mission to “provide financial resources for youth-focused water safety programs which aim to provide the opportunity for every child to be safe in and around the water.”
As of now, only three schools will pilot this program: Central Elementary, Efland-Cheeks Global Elementary and New Hope Elementary. Still, these represent almost half of all elementary schools in the county — a promising start.
Water safety is an incredibly important skill to have. Statistics show that almost 3,600 people die of drowning each year in the United States and children represent 945 of those deaths. Swimming skills should not merely be a suggestion if people across this country are still dying from drowning. This program is a step in the right direction.