High School Senior Project Promotes Swimming Skills to Underserved Teens

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Photo courtesy Mel Ponder Photography.

Jackie Beal, a senior at Mount Rainier High School, created “Teach2Swim” for her Senior Culminating Project. Jackie’s goal was to teach swimming to teens in underserved communities so they in turn could teach others to swim.

During the summer of 2012, Jackie worked with five teenagers from the New Futures program at the Woodridge Apartments in Burien. She then supervised the teens as they each taught basic strokes and water safety to two other children.

Jackie also presented her project to the Drowning Prevention Network at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

“It was fun for me to be able to pass on some of the skills I’ve learned, but teaching a few kids to swim isn’t enough,” Jackie said. “There are 1,200 club swimmers in Puget Sound between the ages of 15 to 17. I hope to challenge these youth to consider a culminating project focused on teaching others to swim.”

“I would like to support other teens to develop a Teach2Swim program in their community,” Jackie added. “I hope that others will share their knowledge and abilities with kids who are not able to take formal lessons due to financial or cultural reasons. I will provide Teach2Swim program leaders with the course materials that I developed, as well as ideas of how to implement Teach2Swim in their area.”

Jackie developed Teach2Swim based on her nine years of experience as a competitive swimmer, and her lifeguard training. The teens were taught water safety, basic strokes, and water rescue. Parents were instructed on how to be a Water Watcher, how to recognize potential drowning victims, and the Reach, Throw, Row – Don’t Go approach to water rescue.

Prospective Teach2Swim instructors may contact Jackie via email at [email protected].

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