“We wanted to revitalize the Splash program the district used to have for second-graders, so we developed dry land water safety courses,” eighth-grader Peyton Blodgett said.
“They used research to develop the program,” Woods said.
The North Ridge group then tried out the dry land water safety courses on about 500 school-aged children at the Danville Family YMCA, Garfield Park, North Ridge and South View middle schools, Cannon Elementary School and all of the elementary schools that feed into North Ridge.
Sixth-grader Delsie Robinson said the courses engaged youngsters in fun yet educational activities, such as a life jacket relay and other games that reviewed water safety information.
Peyton said the group would like a six- to eight-week swim program, which would cost about $60 per child, to be offered for free or at a reduced cost for Danville area children.
“Sixty-six percent of drowning cases are children under 3,” Peyton said. “We should be hitting the kids early in preschool to third grade.”
The North Ridge group said they were shocked when they surveyed the students during their school visits to try out the dry land courses and found that 47 percent of those elementary and middle school students didn’t know how to swim.
“Everyone needs to know how to swim,” Crystina said.
Peyton added, “They are 88 percent less likely to drown if they have had formal swimming lessons.”
Also as part of their Liquid Lifesavers project, all of the Future Problem Solvers members became CPR certified and cleaned up around Stoney Creek at Winter Park before Northeast Elementary Magnet School’s Colorburst 5K run in April.
TO DONATE The North Ridge Middle School Future Problem Solvers is still short some of the money needed to attend the five-day Future Problem Solvers International competition next week at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. It costs about $600 per student to attend. Donations toward the trip may be made to the local Future Problem Solvers group by contacting North Ridge teacher Lori Woods at 444-3458 or firstname.lastname@example.org.