Each week, students from a fourth grade class at one of Carroll County’s elementary schools get life-saving instruction in the indoor pool at the Carroll Wellness Center.
The local Schools in Pools program, which was started in 2004, comes under the auspices of the American Red Cross’s Longfellow Whale (water habits are learned early) Tales program.
Starting in September, each Monday through Thursday, a fourth-grade class spends an hour each day at CWC. The program’s main purpose is to teach water safety, but students do get some free time at the end of class to swim or just play in the water.
“This is a win-win situation,” said Carroll County School Superintendent Dr. Strader Blankenship. “The kids love it. They get to have a lot of fun, but, more importantly, they learn how to save themselves. We consider it a very successful program, and the (school) board has always been very supportive of it.”
“It’s a good program; some students just do not have the opportunity to use a pool,” said Roseanne Black, who, along with Josh Edmonds, instructs the students in water safety. “They love the water, and after four days, some seem to be actually making progress in swimming, although there’s no formal instruction.”
Following the water safety instruction, Edmonds usually stays in the pool with the students.
“The students seem to like having (Edmonds) in there with them,” said Black.
As for Edmonds, he said, “I love it too.”