**Joint Press Release from Tonasket Park and Recreation District & Tonasket School District**
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 2019
Contact: Jordon Weddle, Tonasket Park and Recreation District, firstname.lastname@example.org or Anitra Atchison, Tonasket School District
Tonasket School District’s 4th and 5th grade students enjoyed 3 days of water safety instruction and swim lessons at the Tonasket Community Pool on June 3rd, 4th, and 5th!
The Tonasket School District, in partnership with the Tonasket Park and Recreation District, received a Stronger Schools Grant through the Community Foundation of North Central Washington. $3500 was awarded by the grant, which included lifeguards, water safety instruction and pool costs. Transportation was provided by the Tonasket School District. Included in the grant funding is a 20% off swim lesson voucher for every 4th and 5th grade student to help each child pay for swimming lessons this summer at the Tonasket Community Pool.
The lessons provided directly target students who fear water. “With the Okanogan River and the number of lakes in our area, drowning is a serious concern.” said Scott Olson, 4th Grade Teacher at Tonasket Elementary School. “Many of us know of kids who have lost their lives to drowning.”
Trained Water Safety Instructors and lifeguards will work with elementary students to achieve level one of the American Red Cross water safety. Students who already have the basics will be taught at their level to advance their skills. There are 171 students in the 4th and 5th grade who will be participating.
“This is a great opportunity for the kids of our community.” stated Tonasket Parks and Recreation District Chair, Jordon Weddle, “The community drive and momentum that built the pool was largely fueled by the idea that all kids need to learn to swim and be safe in the water.”
Christine Olson, Scott Olson, and Lilly Martin from the Tonasket School District, partnered with the Tonasket Park and Recreation District, represented by Jordon Weddle, to apply for a Stronger Schools Grant through the Community Foundation of North Central Washington.
“The Tonasket Park and Recreation District will be working to continue this program next year, in partnership with the Tonasket School District, with or without grant funding.” said Weddle “We want all kids to learn basic water safety.”