Learning water safety

Dec. 18, 2012 @ 07:44 PM

Second-grade students from New Hope Elementary in Henderson enjoyed some time out of the classroom and in the water Tuesday as they worked with instructors on water safety.

The new water safety program, “Save Our Kids,” is headed up by the Henderson Family YMCA and Aycock Recreational Complex, and is intended to provide water safety skills to second-grade students.

“We’re just trying to break their fear of the water so that if they were to fall in a pool, lake, off a boat, they could save themselves,” said Woody Caudle, CEO of Henderson Family YMCA.

Chris Eaton, a staff member at Henderson Family YMCA, was in the pool with kids as they practiced dunking their heads under water.

“I’m just working on level one stuff,” Eaton said. “Teaching them how to get used to water, and how to come up and breathe.”

According to Caudle, the program began two weeks ago after the Henderson Family YMCA received funding contributions from two sources.

“We had a grant from the Henderson Optimist Club,” Caudle said. “The YMCA board of directors put all their golf tournament money to this program.

“So, I think that’s a sustaining amount of money that we’ll be able to do this for seven years.”

Caudle’s goal for the program is to hit every second-grade class in Vance County, allowing students the opportunity to become familiar with the water.

“I think it’s great because out at New Hope, you know they live right on the lake,” said Robin Young, second-grade teacher at New Hope Elementary. “This is an important issue.

“The YMCA has had it so well-organized that it’s run very smoothly.”

With just one session left on Thursday, Young has noticed many of her students making progress in the water.

“When we first started some of them were afraid to get in,” Young said. “Now they’re putting their head under water.”

Contact the writer at amauser@hendersondispatch.com.