Tag Archive for: community engagement

How to Introduce a Water Safety Curriculum to Your School Board

Water safety curriculum and education are crucial in safeguarding children from water-related accidents. Tragic statistics highlight the need for comprehensive water safety programs in schools. Typically, schools have yearly visits from police officers and firefighters to emphasize safety rules surrounding fire, crossing the street, stranger danger, active shooters, etc. Our goal is to guide schools in including water safety in their yearly safety programs and provide the resources needed to impact the decision-makers to consider its importance, too. 

With zero drownings as our goal, we’ve created a Teacher Water Safety Toolkit to equip educators and schools with tools and resources that are not only fun and engaging but impactful in their delivery of the message of drowning prevention and water safety. 

Your local school board can be assured that each piece of our Water Safety Curriculum is backed by data and supported by experts in the field of water safety and education.

Forming a Water Safety Task Force/Coalition

A Water Safety Task Force or Coalition is a pivotal step in implementing a school-wide water safety curriculum. The task force ensures a well-rounded approach to water safety education by involving school staff, parents, and community members. Each stakeholder group can contribute unique perspectives and expertise, fostering a collective effort towards creating a safer environment for students, ensuring that the curriculum is based on evidence-based practices and industry standards, and enhancing its overall effectiveness.

Encouraging community partnerships is a powerful way to strengthen water safety initiatives. By engaging with local organizations, such as community centers, swim programs, and nonprofit water safety organizations, schools can access additional resources, funding opportunities, and outreach support. These partnerships create a network of support that extends beyond the school, reinforcing the importance of water safety throughout the community.

Highlighting the Need for Water Safety Curriculum

Learning to swim and acquiring basic water survival skills are vital for every child. Drowning prevention strategies can save lives, and schools can play a significant role in instilling these skills. Integrating water safety into the school curriculum can equip students with the knowledge and skills to stay safe in and around water, ultimately preventing tragic accidents and drowning incidents.

Not only that, a water safety curriculum aligns with the core values of our educational system. It promotes students’ physical well-being and instills a sense of responsibility, care, and community engagement. By fostering a culture of safety and preparedness, we nurture responsible and confident young individuals who can thrive inside and outside the classroom.

Schools and school districts can utilize our Teacher Water Safety Toolkit to host water safety awareness weeks or workshops, further emphasizing its importance and ensuring that every student, regardless of their classroom or grade, gets the crucial information they need.

Presenting the Water Safety Curriculum Proposal to the School Board

When presenting the water safety curriculum proposal to the school board, it is crucial to highlight how the curriculum aligns with the overall goals and objectives of the school district. Emphasizing this alignment will demonstrate that the water safety program is not just an isolated initiative but an integral part of the district’s broader vision for student well-being.

Make a note for your board that overcoming budgetary constraints and resource limitations may require creative solutions. However, investing in water safety education promises long-term benefits for students’ safety. Establish a straightforward curriculum rollout and evaluation timeline and train facilitators to deliver water safety lessons effectively, even outside the water. Presenting a completed stack of content, cost, impact, and a rollout timeline will help combat any objections or concerns that may be had. 

The benefit of our Teacher Water Safety Toolkit is that it is a turnkey reusable resource that any educator can implement without the water. The toolkit includes engaging lessons, interactive activities, book recommendations, parent handouts, and an advocacy letter for educators to sign and present to their administrators or school board for pre-approval as well. 

Advocating for a water safety curriculum in schools can be an intimidating task. By approaching it with urgency and passion, you convey the critical importance of this initiative. Above all, you must express an unwavering commitment to seeing it through. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause of death in children ages 1-14. You can change these numbers by showing the school board and your administration that you are willing to put in the necessary time and effort to make water safety education a reality in your schools and communities!

While back to school means that summer is coming to an end, you can still have a great time at your local aquatics facility! A fun back to school event can bring your community together. Keeping in mind how to keep everyone safe, you can check on the latest information on water safety before you start your planning. We have 5 tips for you to have a fun and safer time at your aquatics facility. 

1. Plan themed activities

Having a theme can keep a cohesive theme throughout your event. You have a back to school theme already, and now it is time to add some activities. Pick activities for varying levels of engagement and abilities. Having this variety allows everyone to be able to participate. Back to school can even your theme!

Ideas like back to school bingo with pictures of items instead of numbers is great for most families. You can also do a scavenger hunt for various school supplies if space and the facility allows. 

Activities can include safety aspects too. You can plan activities that can teach adults and caregivers CPR. This is important for parents and caregivers to know. There are a lot of different songs that they can practice CPR to. Baby shark and Dancing Queen by ABBA are two popular options! Learning about emergency preparedness for a drowning event is good information for all to know. 

2. Incorporate Water Safety initiatives into your event

Water safety is always important even when there are Lifeguards. We have 5 layers of protection to help keep you and your guests safer. You can always bring those layers into your event. You can incorporate the supervision piece by ensuring you have at least one dedicated water watcher at all times during the event. Having a water watcher is important even if there are Lifeguards. 

Water safety also includes learning how to swim. Check if the facility offers swimming lessons year-around. It is always a good time of the year to practice your swimming skills – for children and adults!

3. Offer school supply/school related prizes

Back to school means a restalk of those school supplies. Offering prizes for some games can give a higher incentive to play! Potential prizes could include items like new binders, notepads, pens or pencils. They could also be bigger items such as a backpack, lunch box, or even a bike helmet. Whether small or large, you can count on participation for prizes! 

Not everyone will want to participate, so you can even host a silent auction during your event. This will help keep people entertained during your whole event. Some of these items can be for children or adults. This allows you to vary your options greatly. 

4. Promote Family Friendly activities

Family friendly activities can bring in the whole family to enjoy the fun! The facility may have a basketball hoop you can use. They may also have a net to play water volleyball. Both of these games can be played with people of all ages and you can use different size balls for both! Water volleyball can even be played with a giant beach ball for even more fun. 

Creating activities that everyone can participate in ensures that you are keeping varying abilities in mind. You can have activities that do not involve being in the water too. Activities like minute-to-win-it games. There are so many options to incorporate into your event.  

5. Partner with local businesses to offer promotions or be vendors at your event

Bringing in local businesses near you can help support your event in a multitude of ways. They can help sponsor some prizes, or even help sponsor food and drinks. This can help engage further within your community. 

Building relationships with different local businesses can make your event even more community friendly. This also can lead to those relationships being stronger. They may want to come back and support your event again next year too! 

Using these tips can help you have a fun and safer event! Looking for more tips? Check out our pool party safety tips for summer