Photo by Jerry Gay
Mt. Rainier High School senior Jackie Beal has won many awards for her swimming and now she is challenging her fellow teens to teach swimming to underserved students. Here she is at Mt. Rainier Pool in Des Moines, site of many of her accomplishments.

Mt. Rainier senior brings swimming to underserved kids

Jackie Beal, a senior at Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines, created “Teach2Swim” for her Senior Culminating Project. Jackie’s goal was to teach swimming to teens in underserved communities so they in turn could teach others to swim.

During the summer of 2012, Jackie worked with five teenagers from the New Futures program at the Woodridge Apartments in Burien. She then supervised the teens as they each taught basic strokes and water safety to two other children.

“It was fun for me to be able to pass on some of the skills I’ve learned, but teaching a few kids to swim isn’t enough,” said Jackie. “There are 1,200 club swimmers in Puget Sound between the ages of 15 to 17. I hope to challenge these youth to consider a culminating project focused on teaching others to swim.

“I would like to support other teens to develop a Teach2Swim program in their community,” said Jackie. “I hope that others will share their knowledge and abilities with kids who are not able to take formal lessons due to financial or cultural reasons.

“I will provide Teach2Swim program leaders with the course materials that I developed, as well as ideas of how to implement Teach2Swim in their area.”

Jackie developed Teach2Swim based on her nine years of experience as a competitive swimmer, and her lifeguard training. The teens were taught water safety, basic strokes, and water rescue.

Prospective Teach2Swim instructors may contact Jackie via email at Jackie.beal@rocketmail.com.

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