Mary Jipson: Swimming pool provides life-saving skills, isn't a luxury – Lewiston Sun Journal

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I am writing in support of the city of Auburn using unspent American Rescue Plan Act funds, fund balance from bond funds and other potential grant funds towards a community pool.
I have worked with children and families in this community for more than 30 years at a non-profit that had a pool, as well as in our public schools. I have read that some people believe a pool would be a “luxury” and that we should spend the money on something else. I feel that a pool is needed to give children a place to learn basic swim skills and water safety.
This is not only a lifelong skill but a life-saving skill. In my opinion that is not a luxury.
My own children had the access and opportunity to take swimming lessons at a young age as they attended childcare in a building that had a pool. Access and opportunity along with lack of resources are all reasons some children do not get exposure to basic swim skills and water safety. A community pool could break down some of those barriers for families.
Most of us have heard of several tragic drownings of children in our community over the years. Sadly, I knew one of those children as I was that child’s first grade teacher.
Advocating for a community pool could give children a chance to be exposed to water safely, and it is a way we can make a long after-us impact.
Mary Jipson, Auburn
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