CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — A partnership between the Pinellas County School District, City of Clearwater, Juvenile Welfare Board, and Clearwater For Youth (CFY) has been providing swim lessons for hundreds of local students.
On Tuesday, dozens of McMullen-Booth Elementary School students participated in the water safety program at The Long Center in Clearwater.
“We’re surrounded by water but so many of our kids don’t have the opportunity to go in the pool and have water safety classes,” McMullen-Booth Elementary School Principal Stephanie Whitaker said.
McMullen-Booth Elementary is just one of four schools in Clearwater with the two-week program available for students in kindergarten through second grade.
Students work with certified swimming instructors and lifeguards to work on basic swimming or safety skills.
“The kids are always so excited to be here,” Swim Instructor Kyree Sellman said. “I’ve had kids come and they’re like ‘I didn’t think I could do that’ and I’m like ‘yeah you can’. It’s really just building their confidence and then that leads to other life skills.”
The lessons are taught during the school day, expanding students’ P.E. courses.
“We can actually send a bus to the elementary school, pick those children up and transport them here to the Long Center,” CFY Development Manager and Olympic Champion Brooke Bennett said. “Takes the stress off the families’ backs.”
According to CFY, Eisenhower Elementary School, Skycrest Elementary School and Belleair Elementary School will also take part in the program this year. They also have a goal to add two to three more schools to the program by the end of this year.
If you or your family are interested in swimming lessons, The Long Center does offer sessions in Clearwater, here is a link to their online schedule.