NORD and the YMCA of Greater New Orleans Continue the “H2Geaux Safety around Water” Program
NEW ORLEANS, LA – This fall the New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission, the YMCA of Greater New Orleans (YGNO), Joseph A. Craig Charter School, Landry Walker Charter School, St. Peter Claver School and Fannie C. Williams Charter School graduated four classes of more than 250 third through sixth graders from YGNOs’ water safety swim program “H2Geaux – Safety around Water”. The six-week program focused on building students confidence in the water while teaching basic swim skills as well as water safety skills. The announcement was made in a press release.
In the spring of 2018, NORD partnered with YMCA New Orleans to launch the pilot program after receiving grant funding from the a private donor to make Orleans Parish a safer place for children to swim. Through this partnership, NORD would provide the aquatics facilities, and lifeguards for the program, while YGNO would spearhead the curriculum, plan, and staff the program classes, and provide towels, swim caps, and goggles for students.
“The YMCA of Greater New Orleans was thrilled to be able to offer our 2nd session of the H2Geaux Safety Around Water Program in partnership with NORD. This session we worked with 4 different schools which included Joseph Craig, Landry Walker, Fannie C. Williams and St. Peter Claver. ,” said Rachael Jonas, Association Aquatics Director of YMCA of Greater New Orleans. “The YMCA of GNO is dedicated to educating the children of New Orleans about saving themselves if they are ever in trouble in the water, as well as basic swimming skills to allow them to safely enjoy their time in our numerous Louisiana waterways.”
“This fall, Fannie C. Williams Charter School was granted the opportunity to participate in water safety classes and swimming lessons offered through the YMCA and NORD, said Dana Williams, health and physical education instructor at Fannie C. Williams.” “Fourth grade students enrolled in physical education class were able to participate in six training sessions, which focused on identifying potential dangers/hazards in and around water as well as swimming survival skills.
The overall impact of participating in this program has allowed thirty-four, fourth grade students the ability to learn and/or improve upon their swimming skills, develop positive views and increased self-esteem toward swimming. It also taught them the ability to identify potential hazardous situations in and around water.”
Barbara Nicholas, special education teacher at L.B. Landry-O.P. Walker College and Career Preparatory High School said, “Most of our students began the program without swimming experience. It has been a pleasure to see our scholars’ growth in such a short period of time.”
“I was in complete awe of the progress made in such a short period of time, the joy of the children and the excellent work of the instructors," said Beverly Hill, special education teacher at L.B. Landry-O.P. Walker College and Career Preparatory High School.
The need for water safety for the children in the state of Louisiana is great, as it has the 2nd highest rate of drownings in the nation. NORD is looking to partner with more local schools and community organizations to bring water safety lessons to physical education classes and youth across the City of New Orleans at no cost to participants. The goal of partnerships such as these is to teach as many children as possible in Orleans parish basic swim and water safety skills before they enter the eighth grade.