BW swim effort

BRAWLEY — Barbara Worth Junior High School in Brawley is historically one of the only youth-swim programs, in the Valley, that has consistently instructed its students in learning how to swim. 

Current P.E teacher and department head at Barbara Worth Junior High Robert Christiansen brought light to the consistency and impact the B.W. swim program has established over the years.

Barbara Worth has offered a P.E. swimming unit for the roughly past 25 years. 

“We had to put a pause on it during COVID but now where back at it again,” said Christiansen. “We are the only Junior High, as far as I know, that offers a swimming unit.”

As per Christiansen there are over 900 students that attend Barbara Worth and every student must pass a swimming test to swim at the swimming pool. 

For those that are not able to pass the swimming test, lessons are offered. 

“This year alone with just four P.E. teachers, gave lessons to over 200 students and we were successful to have over half of those students pass within a three-week period,” said Christiansen. “Unfortunately, I think many of our students don’t have the opportunity to go swimming on a regular basis or to enjoy the Lions Center.” 

Christiansen highlighted how giving the kids an opportunity to go swimming at the Lion’s Center is extremely important because it’s a life-long skill. It’s something that one would hope everybody could learn how to do. 

“God forbid, if they were put in a body of water and didn’t know how to swim,” said Christiansen. “Swimming is a life-long skill that we want to teach our kids and provide them. Our school board understands the importance of our swimming unit so, our school-board at Barbara Worth supports it. Even the bus drivers have to bus the kids over to the Lion’s Center everyday from Barbara Worth so they could swim, then bus them back.” 

This endeavor helps (kids at BW) because it’s exposes the kids at a younger age to get in the pool and maybe those who didn’t have the opportunity to swim before will fall in love with it.   

“Our program consistency is important because one of our own P.E. teachers and former district students, learned how to swim in this same program,” said Christiansen. We have children at Barbara Worth whose parents learned how to swim in junior high.”

As per Christiansen, this goes to show the support of everybody vested in the community.

“We just continue to try and provide the opportunity to teach our kids how to swim but also to enjoy the swimming pool,” said Christiansen. “The home run of this program is to give all of our children the opportunity to spend a few weeks in the swimming pool and teaching a life-skill to a population of students that don’t necessarily know how to swim.” 

Christiansen closed with praise for collective effort. 

“The P.E program at Barbara Worth truly commends and thanks buy-in from our school district, our school board, from our superintendent, our school principal, the Lion’s Center staff, and our bus drivers,” said Christiansen.

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