Strong new life jackets for youngsters learning to swim in Lincoln City!!
The Lincoln City Community Center received 50 new life jackets thanks to the Association of Aquatic Professionals’ Lifejacket and Swim Lesson Grant.
The bright orange life jackets arrived just in time for summer swim lessons, and they will be used at all levels in the Community Center’s popular learn-to-swim program.
“Lifejackets are an important part of the water safety portion of swim lessons,” Ryan Smith, aquatic supervisor, said. “We teach kids how to put lifejackets on, the appropriate time to wear them, and how to move with them in the water.”
Smith, who is also a member of the North Lincoln Fire & Rescue surf rescue team, knows first-hand the dangers of local waters and the benefits of water safety instruction. “We are surrounded by water here on the coast. You need to do everything possible to be safe,” Smith said.
Swim lessons are held year-round at the Community Center. The lessons are taught by Red Cross certified lifeguards and swim instructors, using a curriculum developed specifically to emphasize water safety. In the past 12 months, more than 350 children were enrolled in group swim lessons; another 200 children took school swim lessons; and nearly 120 children enjoyed private lessons. This comes to about 41% of all local youth under the age of 18.
The Community Center’s instructional lifejackets dated back almost to the opening of the pool. Though in sad shape from years of use and exposure to chlorinated water, these lifejackets were still brought out for the all-important “safety talk” and practice sessions during every swim lesson. Now, thanks to the generous grant from the Association of Aquatic Professionals, bright orange lifejackets in a variety of sizes have replaced the Community Center’s aging fleet.
“We truly appreciate this gift, which enabled us to receive 50 lifejackets from Adolf Kiefer & Associates,” Gail Kimberling, the grant author and Community Center Director, said. “The new lifejackets have already made a very positive impact on our water safety program, and we hope this will ultimately help reduce the number of near-drownings and drownings that occur on the Coast each year, especially among young people.”
The Community Center is located at 2150 NE Oar Place. For information about the Community Center’s swim lessons, see www.lincolncity.org or call 541-994-2131.