ASYMCA Killeen taking safety seriously
In May 2016, the Armed Services YMCA Killeen opened its newest and first full-service facility for an Armed Services branch in Harker Heights, Texas. The ASYMCA Wellness Center consists of the indoor running track, three group exercise studios, a fitness floor, instructional kitchen, and an aquatics center consisting of a 10-lane lap pool with an adjacent therapy pool. Its mission statement reads:
The Armed Services YMCA enhances the lives of military members and their families in spirit, mind, and body through programs relevant to the unique challenges of military life.
With a partnership with the Killeen Independent School District, the ASYMCA made a concerted commitment early on to help educate the community about water safety in order to reduce the number of youth-related accidents and fatalities in and around water. Dr. John M. Craft, KISD Superintendent, said “The district believes the Safety Around Water course has truly benefited the students within Killeen ISD. Teaching children how to be safe around water exemplifies the community’s willingness to work with the district in a collaborative manner. We embrace the notion that the Armed Services YMCA is willing to help our students learn more about safety skills.”
The ASYMCA Killeen’s Safety Around Water journey began in 2015 with one school and more than 100 students completing the program over the course of a month. This past fall 487 third-grade students from four schools completed the program. By school year’s end (June 2017), seven schools and 900 students are expected to have successfully completed the program.
The success of the program has it destined to be included in the KISD 2017/2018 third grade curriculum, which reaches an estimated 4,000 students annually.
As a father, this is awesome. I love being able to give something to these children and their parents…a sense of security that they did not have at the beginning of the program.
-- Brian Toth