Los Fresnos students learn water safety at Aquatic Center - Brownsville Herald: Education

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Los Fresnos students learn water safety at Aquatic Center

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Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 10:30 am

Second-grade students from all nine Los Fresnos CISD elementary schools are taking or will be taking a two-week Water Safety course as part of their curriculum. Each school is scheduled to visit the Los Fresnos CISD Aquatic Center, which opened in 2017, for a two-week period between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. throughout the school year.

"The goal of the program is to teach every second grade student water safety skills," said Jaime Perez, program and Los Fresnos High School head swim coach.

Students have a diverse knowledge of water safety. Some have taken swimming lessons and are unafraid of the water. Others have never been in a swimming pool before.

They are seeded. Everybody has a team name. Everybody is learning the same thing. Some students need to learn to swim, while others have taken swimming lessons before.

The program's mission includes providing students tools needed to make good decisions in and around water.

"They are learning the skills of breathing, floating and kicking," Perez said. "Our goal is to teach them the elementary backstroke by the end of the course."

About 20 Los Fresnos High School students have enrolled for the Outdoor Activities/Lifeguarding class during first period and serve as instructors. Elementary students are broken up into several groups.

On Fridays, the high school students work on their lifeguarding skills. At the end of the semester, they are given the opportunity to challenge the lifeguarding class to be certified as lifeguards through the American Red Cross.

For them, the class is just part of the school day. They return to LFHS by bus at the end of first period.

For the second graders, they are bussed to the Aquatic Center as part of their instructional day.. The teachers and paraprofessionals ride with them. Parents are welcome to visit the instruction, and several take advantage of the opportunity daily.

"I give them homework just like their classroom teacher does," Perez said.

The younger children have an experienced instruction in Perez, the LFHS head swimming and diving coach. He started the LFHS swimming and diving program in 1998 and coached until 2007. He came back to serve as the head coach when the Aquatic Center opened.

"We'll get better and better as we go along," Perez said. "It's going to take a little time to work out any little situations that we may have. We're going to make this program the best that we can."

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