I was lucky enough to come across an article written in the Peninsula Clarion — The Newspaper of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.
Penned by Erika E. Bennett of Soldotna Middle School, the article is an intelligently written opinion piece entitled,
Ms. Bennett asks,
"...how can the school board consider closing Skyview Pool, thus limiting access to a valuable resource that is an asset to the children of this community?"
She goes on to say that,
"Preventing drownings takes a community effort as well as access to a pool. For students who have not learned elsewhere, the school district is left mandating swimming in high school to ensure their children will be safe around water. With this said, we, as a community, must be proactive as early as possible to avoid accidents, which brings me to my final point. Soldotna Middle School is relocating to Skyview, so why don’t we take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity to teach swimming two years earlier, thus fully utilizing a valuable resource and ensuring more safety for our young people around our waterways?"
Ms. Bennett, as you might have guessed, knows how to swim. She’s a fantastic example of “Swimmers Helping Non-Swimmers” — one of our slogans here at International Water Safety Day.
But, what is most astonishing, is that Ms. Bennett is in the 7th grade —
So, we’d like to say
for being such an outstanding water safety advocate!