Prince Rupert students learn to swim for survival

Students in Prince Rupert's school district will learn important skills in a swimming program that could potentially save their lives.

Students in Prince Rupert’s school district will learn important skills in a swimming program that could potentially save their lives if they fall in the water.

School District 52 (SD52) received funding from the Lifesaving Society of B.C., allowing all Grade 3 students in Prince Rupert to participate in the Swim to Survive program.

“It gives every student the opportunity to learn the skills required to survive if they fall into the water in the North Coast. That’s an opportunity that not every student [would necessarily get],” said Ken Minette, SD52’s director of instruction.

The Swim to Survive program includes three in-class learning sessions, with teachers being provided with educational material on life-saving methods. Then, Grade 3 students have three one-hour sessions in the pool at the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre that go over skills such as roll entry into water, treading water for one minute and swimming for 50 metres.

The grant provided by the Lifesaving Society of B.C. covered three quarters of the cost to run the program in Prince Rupert, said Minette.

“We probably would not have been able to do it if we hadn’t received this grant. It works out to about $40 per student to run the program, and [the grant covered] about $25 of the cost for each student,” he said.

Minette said Prince Rupert’s school district will apply for the funding once again next year to ensure that Prince Rupert students are able to learn these valuable skills.