Learn to Swim Program’s Life Changing Impact

Sophia Robertson, Editor-in-Chief

After Student Malik Ramirez passed away from a drowning incident last Spring, the Malik Ramirez Learn to Swim Program was established. This program began in the fall of the 2019-2020 school year and consisted of three lessons per week for two weeks at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. About 25 students were taken for lessons at a time, but more groups will be taken throughout the year after the original mid-September start date. This program was launched by the Page Alumni and Friends Association, a group that hopes at least 80 students in total from Page learn to swim this year through this program. From the first few days of learning to float and blow bubbles, the students had the opportunity to go into a 17-foot deep pool by the end of the lessons.

This idea originated from the Greensboro Aquatic Center’s second grade Guilford County School learn to swim program that has helped over 7,000 second graders learn the skill. Over 60% of all children, from toddler to high school senior, do not know how to swim, so Principal Erik Naglee was quick to partner with the Page Alumni and Friends Association to bring this opportunity to Page students. While the lessons cost $60, the community has given enough donations to fund at least 60 students. Additionally, bus transportation during school hours has been provided for the participants, and teachers have accommodated the students’ swim lesson schedules. “It was amazing,” Freshman Jusiah Griffin stated. He did not know the basics of swimming before participating, but the program opened up a new door for him and has proven to be an enjoyable activity. As the first wave of the program finishes, the Page community continues to encourage swimming education and promote opportunities like these that could eventually be life-saving.