Tonasket students enjoy three days of water safety, swim lessons

Submitted photos Tonasket fourth and fifth grade students learn water safety and get swimming lessons thanks to a Stronger Schools Grant through the Community Foundation of North Central Washington that was received by the Tonasket School District and Tonasket Parks and Recreation District.

Submitted photos
Tonasket fourth and fifth grade students learn water safety and get swimming lessons thanks to a Stronger Schools Grant through the Community Foundation of North Central Washington that was received by the Tonasket School District and Tonasket Parks and Recreation District.

School and parks & rec district receive Stronger Schools Grant through Community Foundation

TONASKET – Tonasket School District’s fourth and fifth grade students are enjoying three days of water safety instruction and swim lessons at the Tonasket Community Pool on June 3rd, 4th and 5th.

The school district, in partnership with the Tonasket Park and Recreation District, received a Stronger Schools Grant through the Community Foundation of North Central Washington. A total of $3500 was awarded by the grant, which included lifeguards, water safety instruction and pool costs. Transportation is being by the school district. Included in the grant funding is a 20 percent off swim lesson voucher for every fourth and fifth grade student to help each child pay for swimming lessons this summer at the Tonasket Community Pool.

Trained Water Safety Instructors and lifeguards work with elementary students to achieve level one of the American Red Cross water safety.

Trained Water Safety Instructors and lifeguards work with elementary students to achieve level one of the American Red Cross water safety.

The lessons provided directly target students who fear water.

“With the Okanogan River and the number of lakes in our area, drowning is a serious concern,” said Scott Olson, fourth grade teacher at Tonasket Elementary School. “Many of us know of kids who have lost their lives to drowning.”

Trained Water Safety Instructors and lifeguards worked with elementary students to achieve level one of the American Red Cross water safety. Students who already have the basics will be taught at their level to advance their skills. There are 171 students in the fourth and fifth grade who are participating

“This is a great opportunity for the kids of our community.” said Tonasket Parks and Recreation District Chairperson, Jordon Weddle. “The community drive and momentum that built the pool was largely fueled by the idea that all kids need to learn to swim and be safe in the water.”

Olson, Christine Olson and Lilly Martin from the school district, partnered with the Tonasket Park and Recreation District, represented by Weddle, to apply for a Stronger Schools Grant through the Community Foundation of North Central Washington.

“The Tonasket Park and Recreation District will be working to continue this program next year, in partnership with the Tonasket School District, with or without grant funding,” said Weddle “We want all kids to learn basic water safety.”