Equity and Safety Demand

Letter to all TDSB trustees

Save the Pools
Equity and Safety Demand It
Health and Fitness Requires It

Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death among children under age fifteen and African American children ages 5 to 19 drown at a rate 2.3 times that of their counterparts. Economically disadvantaged children cannot afford swim lessons, and are at an extremely high risk for drowing when around bodies. Toronto is on the shore of Lake Ontario and has many rivers, streams and ponds.
Being able to swim is an essential life skill which forms the basis of a life-long positive relationship with water and water activities, and goes a long way towards preventing drownings. Being able to swim well gives a child a sense of accomplishment and builds their confidence, as well as assisting with the development of gross motor skills, muscle building and base fitness.
Teach them to swim! Every child is their parent's most treasured asset, full of potential and hope. There can surely be few vocations as rewarding as forming an integral part of a child's life by giving them the gift of an essential life skill, with the added benefit of assisting their development and building their confidence.
-Jim Emptage, Toronto  March 27, 2008