St. Augustine Preparatory Academy Partnering with Others to Offer Life-Saving Water Safety Classes
According to the YMCA, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death in children ages one to 14.
MILWAUKEE – February 22, 2018 – As part of St. Augustine Preparatory Academy’s (Augustine Prep) goal of being a positive, inclusive force for good in Milwaukee, the school is expanding its water safety classes in an effort to ensure more children are water safe. Starting on February 12, 50 students from neighboring Bruce Guadalupe Community School began participating in swim lessons after school, a partnership that was made possible by a community grant from Marquette University.
Guided by its four pillars of faith, family, academics and athletics, swim safety is a core component of Augustine Prep’s mission. Through its partnership with Schroeder Aquatics, a local organization that helps promote swimming at all levels through instruction and competition, the school provides 25 free swim lessons for every registered Augustine Prep student. More than 400 Augustine Prep students have already begun their water safety journey, with 200 more students beginning lessons this semester.
“Seeing our students enjoy their time in the pool and watching the progress they are making reaffirms our decision to prioritize water safety at Augustine Prep,” said Alfonso Carmona, superintendent at Augustine Prep. “Appreciating its critical importance across our community, we are pleased to begin partnering with other schools and organizations to offer water safety classes to other students who do not have access elsewhere.”
According to the YMCA, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death in children ages one to 14. Nationally, 70 percent of African-American children, 58 percent of Hispanic children and 40 percent of Caucasian children have little or no swimming ability. For many of these children and their families, the cost of swimming lessons is a significant barrier to becoming water safe.
Augustine Prep’s water safety programs are thanks in large part to the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation, which donated $50,000 to use for community outreach surrounding swim programs. While Augustine Prep owns and manages the pool, the state-of-the-art facility is fast becoming a community asset. For example, Schroeder Aquatics uses the facilities during non-school hours and runs a variety of classes and events at the pool, including: school swim lessons, community swim lessons, school and club swim team, and competitive swim meets. Moreover, the school’s facilities are used for training by both the Augustine Prep and Marquette University High School competitive swim teams.
“Athletics build character, teach self-control and help students develop the grit to succeed,” said Matt Miller, athletic director at Augustine Prep. “As one of our four pillars, along with faith, family and academics, our school believes a strong body and a strong mind go together, with the many skills learned in athletics transferring to the field of life.”
Swimming lessons are mandatory as part of Augustine Prep students’ physical education requirements, with the goal to advance swimmers to higher levels each year until they are proficient in water safety. In addition, students in grades 10, 11 and 12 have the opportunity to earn certifications in both lifeguarding and swim instruction. Students who complete these programs will be able to help with the younger students’ swim lessons and be qualified to find summer employment at local pools.
For more information about Augustine Prep or to register for the 2018-2019 school year, please visit http://www.augprep.org or call (414) 810-1380.
About Augustine Prep
St. Augustine Preparatory Academy (Augustine Prep) is a non-denominational Christian school on Milwaukee’s south side at 2607 South 5th Street. The school was launched in August 2017 with K-4, K-5, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades. Centered on the four pillars of faith, family, academics and athletics, Augustine Prep is a student-centered environment where young learners take ownership of their education not only in academics, but also physical health, creativity, and faith.