Montgomery County second-graders receiving free swim lessons

Each elementary school visits the Christiansburg Aquatic Center for the lessons.

By Alison Wickline - Reporter

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. - Montgomery County second-graders are in deep, learning the basics of swim safety. 

This is the third year Montgomery County Public Schools has worked with the Christiansburg Aquatic Center to give all second-graders lifesaving training.

"Having this knowledge as they move forward through elementary school is really important because they start to gain that confidence in themselves that they can be around water," said Olivia Smith, program coordinator at the aquatic center.

Each county elementary school visits the aquatic center once a week for four weeks. During each session, the kids get a 30-minute safety lesson, a 30-minute swim lesson, and then a little time of free swim to test out their new skills.

"We had a few children who had not been in the water and were afraid of the water, and after the first lesson, they're right in there now, so it's great to see them overcome that fear," said Rhonda Terry, a second-grade teacher at Belview Elementary.

The aquatic center is able to offer the lessons with the help of the Blacksburg Lions Club. This year, more than 700 second-graders will be in the pool learning how to swim and stay safe in the water.

"It's really fun, I love it. It's a big opportunity and I'm just seven and it's a big opportunity," said Baron Musick, a second-grader at Belview Elementary. 

The New River Health Foundation has also helped sponsor the swim lessons, lessons that will hopefully last with these little swimmers for years to come.

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