Dear Fellow Superintendents,
I continue to serve on the Water Safety and Awareness Legislative Task Force which is sponsored by the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors (CWCS). The purpose of this communication is to bring annual awareness to Superintendents on the seriousness of child drownings and to provide information and resources for Superintendents to disseminate.
Please kindly forward this information (with attached links) to your School Principals, Curriculum Directors, Town Recreation Departments, Special Education Directors, Wellness Committees, Physical Education Teachers, Parents (through Principal/School Newsletters) and anyone else you deem appropriate in your district/town.
CHALLENGE: Approximately 800 children die yearly from unintentional drowning in the United States. Sixty-two children from birth to age 19 drowned in Connecticut from 2004-2014. All children are susceptible to drownings, but a disproportionately higher number of minority children (2/3 of children who drown are African American or Hispanic) and children on the autism spectrum (90% of autistic child deaths are due to drowning) are represented in those numbers. Water safety awareness instruction could reduce those rates.
SOLUTIONS: Provide water safety information to adults and students during the month of May (National Water Safety Month). The task force kindly requests that Superintendents forward this email and resources below to appropriate school and town leaders in hopes that the short video link (#1 below) could be used in at least a portion of one class session for all students and could also be included in the Principal’s newsletter for parents to view.
Lastly, if your district has curriculum written in this area and has experienced a successful way to deliver this important information, please feel free to pass this on to me. I will share it with the task force.
I thank you for your attention to this critical area for our students.
Robert 'Bob' Gilbert
Superintendent of Schools
Woodbridge School District
Woodbridge, CT 06525
Pool Safely also has videos, other general resources, and free print materials that can be ordered for events.
CWCS website for more information on the activities of the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children and Seniors (CWCS)