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At La Joya ISD, All 4th Graders Learn to Swim!

With the opening of the new Sports & Learning Complex natatorium facility, now all 1,992 fourth graders at La Joya ISD will have the opportunity to learn how to swim! 

For much of this community, the chance to teach children a potential life-saving skill, both for the child themselves and for others, can only be made possible through school programs such as the one now being offered.

“The district’s goal is to teach children to survive in the water and/or build on existing skills,” said Mr. Victor Garza, LJISD Sports & Learning Complex Director. “Students will not only learn HOW to swim, but they will also gain life-long safety abilities such as how to tread in the water, call for help, identify danger and recognize an emergency,” Garza added. “… within the next 8 years, we expect to have every La Joya ISD student to have undergone the Learn to Swim program, and that will be a great accomplishment for our district.”

The swimming program follows the American Red Cross curriculum and each of the 23 elementary school’s 4thgrade students will visit the pool for one full hour, for one full week. Trips are scheduled through the elementary Physical Education classes and swimming lesson sizes range from 45-70 students per school, with a lifeguard to student ratio of 7-1.

To prepare for this new district initiative, LJISD Sports & Learning Complex staff visited the campuses prior to their scheduled visits to review important safety rules, expectations, and to deliver parent permission slips. The classes will run through December and students will earn a “Learn to Swim” Achievement Card as proof of their training and their mastering of skills.

Sports & Learning Complex specialist, Nelly Garcia stated, “This program aims to provide skills that students will carry with them outside the classroom – for life. La Joya ISD is really serving the children in our community and surpassing other school districts in offering these types of courses that can be life-changing, and we are extremely proud to be a part of this initiative.” 

La Joya ISD is one of only 3 districts in the entire Rio Grande Valley to provide these lifesaving skills to its students.