Why donít Bahamians teach our children how to swim?

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December 16, 2010

On sunny beach days in The Bahamas, it’s easy to spot the most popular real estate. Nearly everyone’s in water no deeper than they can stand. A few may be a little braver.

Even though it’s a safe bet that living in The Bahamas means seeing the ocean nearly every day of your life, many of us have not learned how to float and move comfortably through the water.

The Free Swim project by Jennifer Galvin

This paradox is part of the reason that Jennifer Galvin began the Free Swim project.

Galvin holds a Doctorate of Science in Environmental health from the Harvard School of public Health and co-founder of reelblue, a media production company “specializing in stories about global health”. She sees the Free Swim project as a chance to teach a fun, physical connection to the environment that will ingrain a desire to nurture it.

Part book, part movie and now teaching guide, the Free Swim experience provides interesting perspectives about The Bahamas and the way people who live near the water, live.

Take the book, We, Sea. It’s made up of the photos and words of 63 students from South Eleuthera between 7 and 15 years old.

Here’s a sample from 11-year-old student Nicoya Taylor that appears opposite photos of dolphin being cleaned:

“I see two big dolphins being cleaned by my brother. My family makes a living by catching, cleaning and selling fish to help buy groceries and provide for us. Fishing is what we do.”

Proceeds from We, Sea go to Swim to Empower and the Deep Creek Middle School in Eleuthera.

Free Swim the movie record’s the children as they learn to swim in open waters.

The Free Swim Guide for “educators and changemakers” takes the project a step further. It includes two major sections, one that examines the movie chapter by chapter and one that studies the film’s more general themes.

The guide includes discussion questions like “ What are some of the risks of not knowing how to swim?” and “Have you ever visited a coastal community (other than where you live)? How does it compare to where you live?”

There are student activities with connections to math, social studies and language arts.

And although the guide is aimed at 6th to 12th graders it is designed to adapt to audiences of teachers, environmental policy-makers, public health practitioners and more.

See the guide for yourself by clicking here or check out some of the links below:

Free Swim Guide for Educators + Changemakers

About Free Swim the movie (see the trailer there)

About the book: We, Sea (Check out a preview). Order a copy here.

Swim to Empower

Deep Creek Middle School

Check out http://earth.google.com/ocean Once you have opened Google Earth put a check in the Ocean layer (or any of the Ocean subcategories) to see notes about dive spots, marine life shipwrecks and more.

News date : 12/16/2010

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Simon  Wed, 2011/01/12 - 04:42 PM

this is a great project and a superlative movie. I urge anyone who doesn't have a copy to go get one.

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