The Gleaner

Franklin Elementary program teaches students swimming safety

Kelsey Lajoie and Sawyer Greenhalgh
Franklin Elementary School

Franklin students have been learning how to swim this spring.

Students in Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 have been participating in a Swim to Survive swimming program at the Cité des arts et des sports indoor pool in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.

In order to complete their certification, students had to attend two 1.5-hour lessons. The students travelled to the pool twice this April, where they learned the skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water, how to tread water, and long-distance swimming.

According to the Lifesaving society, which is the organization that created the Swim to Survive program, the certification was designed as an educational and exciting field trip that also helps to prevent drowning.

“It made me be able to swim much better than before,” said one student in Grade 5, who has been able to have private swimming lessons before. Students also learned how to do a summersault into the water and how to dive into the water safely. “I feel more safe and more confident around water now,” added the student.


Students from Franklin Elementary participated in the Swim to Survive swimming certification this April at the pool in Salaberry de Valleyfield PHOTO Franklin Elementary School


Another student said, “It was very joyful because I got to learn a lot of new stuff and it made me happy. Now I know what to do to survive in the water and I am more comfortable with myself near water.”

A year before, the school organized swimming lessons for Grades 1 to 6, through the Fonds en Montérégie, on Bouge program, which funded the transport and cost of swimming activities for the students. This year, the school applied to the Swim to Survive program for some funding and provided the remaining amount from the school budget.

School principal Carla Shaw said the reason they decided to repeat the swimming initiative was “because we wanted to be sure that our students are safe around water.”

Shaw also commented that “Not everyone lives close enough to a pool to do this on their own over the summer.”

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