SJC Announces Swim for Survival Partnership with County Executive

June 27, 2010

PATCHOGUE, NY JUNE 28, 2010 St. Josephs College is pleased to announce its partnership with the Office of the County Executive on a "Swim for Survival program, which provides basic water survival skills to young children, at a joint news conference on Tuesday, June 29 at 11 a.m. in the John A. Danzi Athletic Center on the Colleges Long Island Campus.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, administrators and swim instructors from St. Josephs College and representatives from the Suffolk County Police Department will join to discuss and answer questions regarding the annual pool-safety program, which takes place throughout the summer.

"This is a unique program in that it is different from typical swimming lessons, said Priscilla Castellano, coordinator for the Survival Swim Program and facility manager for the John A. Danzi Athletic Center at St. Josephs College. "We teach participants to be safe in and around the water through a series of four classes taught by certified American Red Cross swimming instructors. Participants leave the program with confidence, safety awareness and a healthy respect for the inherent dangers found in swimming pools and at beaches.

Since 2004, the "Swim for Survival program has given 250 children with no prior swimming experience the opportunity to learn water survival skills from St. Josephs College certified instructors. The Suffolk County Police Department Police Athletic League coordinates the program, subsidizing costs for insurance, materials and instructor fees. St. Josephs College provides the pool facility free of charge.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 260 children under the age of five drown each year in residential swimming pools and spas. In 2010 on Long Island, there have already been five deaths related to drowning, including two children in Suffolk County.

"A drowning can happen so quickly sometimes in less than two minutes after a persons head goes under water, said Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. "Precautions should be taken to prevent incidents both around and in the pool, and that is what this program is about.

The "Swim for Survival program invites children ages 5 to 10 to participate in four 45-minute sessions, led by certified swim instructors from St. Josephs College, at a cost of $20 per child. The program teaches rules of safety and how to assist others in need around pools and beaches.

For more information about the "Swim for Survival program at St. Josephs College, please contact Priscilla Castellano at 631.687.1448.