The City of Winnipeg is testing the waters of providing swimming lessons as part of the school curriculum within the Winnipeg School Division.
The new water safety education program, Swimming Counts, is part of a pilot project between the city and school division to teach 2,300 Grade 3 and 4 students from 59 schools how to swim.
The program — aimed at reducing costs and streamlining lessons — will offer three, 40-minute pool times and one hour of water safety education in the classroom.
“The Swimming Counts program is going to save lives by giving our students a basic level of survival skills when it comes to water,” said Mark Wasyliw, Trustee, Winnipeg School Division Board of Trustees.
“I’m pleased that this partnership will make it possible for all youth to learn water safety at a young age.”
The program will run from January to June 2018. If successful, it could be expanded to other Winnipeg and area schools in an effort to assist in drowning prevention strategies.