Would your children know what to do if they were to find themselves
struggling in water or saw someone else struggling?
It has been the mission of a Chester-East Lincoln teacher to help
children know how to be safe in the water and how to possibly help
someone in trouble.
Mrs. Marge Aper has been conducting water safety and swim lessons
for third-graders for the past 38 years. Every spring the students
have been brought to the Lincoln College pool for lessons that teach
them to think and to practice what they've learned in and around
The program began out of a tragedy. On the last day of school in
1974, a wonderful CEL student went home to begin his summer
vacation. But that day fourth-grader Jimmy Huff drowned in a pond.
It was a terrible thing and Mrs. Aper was saddened, along with
many others. She felt she had to do something. The next year, with
the help of Lehn & Fink, she began the water safety program.
On the last day of lessons each year, parents are invited to come
and see a demonstration of the skills their children have gained.
On Tuesday this week, Mrs. Aper reviewed for the parents the
practical measures the children had learned and practiced, such as
not to go into the water to help someone unless they became a
trained lifeguard. What they could do would be to reach out an arm
or something else for a person to grab hold of, like a pole, branch,
net or towel, and they practiced how to stand while doing it.
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The parents were also delighted to see how their children's swim
skills had progressed.
Mrs. Aper emphasized techniques that could be used in the water
if the swimmer were to become tired: holding breath with face in the
water for 10 seconds at a time, floating, rolling over from back to
front and front to back, and bobbing skills. All of the children
were accomplished in these simple, potentially lifesaving skills.
As the exhibition progressed, it was clear that all of her
students had learned a lot and that they really enjoyed being in the
water. This showed especially when free time came. Many went to the
diving boards, both high and low, where there was a steady parade of
jumpers. Some swimmers stayed in the shallower end, playing with
rings, jumping, diving and playing.
This was Mrs. Aper's last presentation of this very important
program that has meant so much to many families over the years. She
thanked the Lincoln College students who had assisted her with the
program. She said they were wonderful to work with.
Ten water safety rules