ACS teaching all second-graders to swim
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – When next year’s Alabaster City Schools second-graders move on to third grade, they will be much more confident in the water, thanks to a partnership between ACS and the city’s YMCA.
The Alabaster School Board voted unanimously during its March 10 meeting to approve the partnership, which came as the result of a Leadership Shelby County project, said Alabaster YMCA Executive Director Rhonda Elmore.
Through the partnership, the Alabaster YMCA will provide swim lessons to every ACS second-grader starting with the 2014-2015 school year. Because the project will involve hundreds of students next year, kids will rotate through the program throughout the school year, Elmore said.
Through the program, groups of students will travel to the Alabaster YMCA Monday through Friday for 30 minutes of water instruction and 30 minutes of land instruction per day, Elmore said.
During the March 10 meeting, Alabaster School Board member John Myrick said he has experienced firsthand the benefits of teaching children to swim at an early age.
“I have two personal friends who lost children (in drowning accidents). I know how dangerous it is,” Myrick said. “I am so appreciative of this program.”
Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said the program could save lives in the future.
“If it prevents one student from drowning, it was worth it,” Vickers said. “I think this is a great idea. We are so fortunate to have the local YMCA here.”