Program Reaches Milestone in Educating Students on Water Safety

Caddo Parish Public Schools and the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana are celebrating a sizeable milestone as the Swim For Life partnership has successfully taught more than 15,000 students comprehensive water safety skills.

Launched in 2017, Swim For Life provides classroom and in-water instruction to all second graders in Caddo Parish as part of a four-day course designed on safety around water. This training provides them with the tools to be informed and prepared around the water through the use of lifesaving techniques.

“It is our collective responsibility to equip our children with the skills needed to navigate the water safely,” said Dr. T. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools. “By providing a water safety course, we are empowering our students to make sound decisions in potentially hazardous situations. The knowledge our students have gained will last them a lifetime and could prevent a tragedy from happening in our community.”

Upon completion of the program, students demonstrate an 80 percent increase in skill levels from day one to day four. Each student leaves with an understanding of how to remain safe in multiple scenarios around bodies of water. Swim For Life utilizes the Safety Around Water curriculum designed by Y-USA.

“Of all the programs we are currently offering, Swim For Life is our most important and the most impactful,” said Gary Lash, CEO of the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana. “We are grateful for the vision of Caddo Parish Schools for recognizing a critical need in our community and partnering with the Y to help keep our kids safe around water.”

Swim For Life is made possible through support from the Community Foundation of North Louisiana and Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport.