KEY LARGO, FL – Monroe County Mayor Pro Tem Holly Merrill Raschein visited the first week of the Keys Kids Swim program for Key Largo School kindergarteners provided through collaboration between Jacobs Aquatic Center in Key Largo, Monroe County School District, and Monroe County Parks and Beaches. Monroe County’s Parks and Beaches Director John Allen, Recreation Team Leader Kirrin Peart, and Maintenance Worker John Frank went through American Red Cross training to teach the kindergarteners how to swim. The two other instructors are Kim Musumeci and founder Tana Carson.
“As we speak, every Key Largo School kindergartener is being offered the opportunity to learn how to swim, and I couldn’t be prouder of this effort,” said Merrill Raschein, who has been a proponent of starting the swim classes for years. “This is a culmination of the right people at the right time with a common goal to better our community and make our children safer.”
Keys Kids Swim is a water safety and swim lesson program that provides FREE swim lessons to students in kindergarten. For the Key Largo School students, swimming lessons and water safety training is being provided 5 days a week for 45 minutes a day for two weeks, with the first graduation being May 12.
“We had 67 students on the first day, and there were quite a few who it was their first time in a pool and many others who will benefit from working on their swimming skills,” said Allen. “Living here in the Florida Keys surrounded by pools, canals, beaches, and open water, this is one of the most important lessons for a child to have.”
The development of this pilot program was spearheaded by Florida Keys Kids and is supported by First Horizon Bank, Keys Children’s Foundation, Monroe County Board of County Commissioners, Monroe County School District, Jim “Doc” Bolini and Doc’s Diner, Quiescence Diving Services, Regan Roth Insurance, and Kenny and Stephanie Channels.
The program directors hope to add additional Monroe County school kindergarteners to the program in the near future. Swim lessons will also be made available to Key Largo School students in first through eighth grade as needed from June 1 through August 30 at Jacobs Aquatic Center. If your student is in first to eighth grade at Key Largo School and needs swimming lessons this summer, email Peart-Kirrin@monroecounty-fl.gov for more information.
Water safety tips from the Florida Dept. of Health in Monroe County
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