January 18th, 2018

Tragedy spurs Winnipeg School Division to teach water safety in schools

By The Canadian Press on January 3, 2018.

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg School Division has launched a pilot project aimed at helping children stay safe in the water.

The Swimming Counts program will include three 40-minute sessions in the pool as well as one hour of water safety education in the classroom.

About 2,300 Grade 4 students from 59 schools will take the course between this month and June.

School board trustee Mark Wasyliw says he was moved to take action after a 12-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl drowned at a Lake Winnipeg beach in the summer of 2016.

Both children were newcomers to Canada, a group Wasyliw says is more at risk of drowning than those born here and highly represented in his school division.

Christopher Love with the Lifesaving Society says there’s a lot of variation across Canada when it comes to what water safety skills are taught in schools, with Ontario and Nova Scotia offering programs with the most reach.

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