On February 8, Magens Bay came alive with the coordinated splashes of students practicing swimming and kayaking in its cool, crystal-blue waters.
A lack of confidence around water can be a source of anxiety for island residents, that's why the Water Safety Program at Cancryn Intermediate & Jr. High School is working to equip students with the skills they need to be safe in and around large bodies of water.
According to Principal Dr. Lisa Hassel-Forde, the Water Safety Program, which is funded by the 21st Century grant, began in 2008. While she was the principal at Gladys Abraham Elementary School at the time, Dr. Hassel-Forde recognized an imminent need for her students to learn how to swim. She said the Cancryn program seeks to ensure students learn to love and respect the water, while equipping them with the skills necessary to survive in a water emergency.
Through the course of the eight-week program, students are exposed to water activities, such as snorkeling, kayaking, and sailing. From the launch of the program, Sally George, Vincent Henley, and Peter Holmberg have been instrumental instructors for the students, according to Dr. Lisa Hassel-Forde.
The Water Safety Program is open to students in grades 4-6 enrolled in the Addelita Cancryn Intermediate and Jr. High School. However, if spaces are available, children from both public and provate schools may participate on a first-come, first-served basis.
Parents interested in having their childern participate in Cancry's Water Safety Program should inquire at the school's main office.