Taking care of children

We are all reeling from the news coming out of the midwest and especially Oklahoma as we hear of the devastation caused by mighty tornadoes. Even though we prepare and drill for such emergencies, until something like this hits, you have no idea if you can actually withstand nature’s power or not.

A local school was hit with an emergency yesterday when the winery next to it suddenly exploded and caught on fire. All of the students and staff were safely evacuated to another school. The drills and preparation paid off. Parents were notified as to where their children would be and that they were safe. So many parents in Oklahoma will not be getting that phone call.

In a brighter note, as we get ready for a very hot summer here in the San Joaquin Valley (we’ve already had 100 degree days), good news has come from Kaiser Permanente. A $60,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente Fresno will help reopen four neighborhood pools starting June 17 and provide free swimming lessons for children.

The pools at neighborhood centers will be open daily from 1 to 5 p.m. until August 18 when school will start. The grant will also provide funding to Fresno United Neighborhoods to help maintain and staff the pools. The swim lessons will be held in the morning through a program called “Splash into a Safe and Healthy Summer,” and 500 kids are expected to learn water safety during the summer. Hopefully those children will not only have fun and stay cool, but be safer in a community full of swimming pools where every year we have drownings.

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4 responses to “Taking care of children

  1. Our days are in the eighties here right now but the humidity is already high. That’s exciting about the swimming lessons and pools. Our public school had a program of activities. One was busing about 50 students to a neighboring town where Red Cross lessons were held at a motel pool. We got to participate in it and earn our different levels of expertise. I’m happy to hear about your community’s plans for the kids.

    • Thank you. The problem with Fresno that the city no longer has any money for parks and recreation. The city has closed many recreation centers. It’s good that private enterprise has been willing to step forward and provide these community projects.

  2. That’s wonderful. I don’t remember how I learned to swim, since I was around water my whole childhood. But for those kids who aren’t (most), this program may save some lives as well as make some kids fall in love with water sports. :-)

    • Fresno is very high poverty and each summer children drown by swimming, or attempting to swim, in the canals that run through the city taking irrigation water to the farms in the outlying areas. This offer to reopen neighborhood pools will help keep the kids cool and safely engaged.

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