Fort Wayne Community Schools - home page

Record Number: 8909
Displayed from: Jun 12, 2012 , until: Jun 20, 2012

The Helen P. Brown Natatorium will participate in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 14.

The record-setting annual event began in 2010 to build awareness about the importance of teaching children to swim in order to prevent drowning. In 2011, more than 20,000 people in 45 states and 13 countries around the globe participated in the event, which has been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest simultaneous swimming lesson ever conducted. During the 30-minute event, participants will review water safety rules, practice safely entering and exiting a pool and perform basic floating and swimming techniques. The event is sponsored by numerous water safety organizations, such as Aquatics International, Ellis & Associates and the National Drowning Prevention Foundation, as well as the American Red Cross.

Nationally, drowning is the second leading cause of unintended injury-related deaths in children under 14 and a leading cause of death for children ages 1-5. Research shows participating in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children ages 1-4.

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson culminates National Water Safety Month – a month-long initiative that takes place in May to support ongoing public education on water safety and being water aware. Being safe in and around water goes beyond taking swimming lessons, although that is a key factor in being safe around water. Learning to swim can be a life-saving skill for children and adults.

Throughout the year, the Helen P. Brown Natatorium offers a variety of swimming lessons. Research shows that if a child does not learn to swim by third grade, they probably never will learn. But, while most introductory classes are filled with children, adults are invited to take lessons at the Natatorium as well.

“We believe water safety is important at all ages, which is why we are committed to setting the standard for water safety at the Natatorium,” said Liz Caywood, Natatorium Director. “We know once people master the skill of swimming it not only serves as a potential life-saving skill, it’s also fun!”

Dozens of swimmers have already signed up to participate in the event at the Natatorium. Participation is limited to those who have taken swim lessons at the Natatorium or who belong to a club swimming team. Those interested can pre-register by calling 467-2660 or signing up at the Natatorium. Spectators are welcome.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.