Reading, writing, arithmetic -- and swimming

The International Red Cross, in cooperation with local public schools, should help all schoolchildren throughout the world learn to swim. This may require a summer program for some children, particularly where natural bodies of water are to be used as "classrooms." For those schools with a pool, or with easy access to a pool, the Red Cross swimming classes could be conducted year round.

Already there are schools which state that a certain proficiency in swimming is a prerequisite for graduation. This is precisely the sort of standard the Red Cross should invoke as it plans a swimming program to meet the needs of even those children who are limited in their physical activities.

Three-fourths of the world we live on is water -- hence water safety is essential as part of the schooling of the world's children.

And there seems to be little reason for the schools alone to try to offer a sound water-safety/swimming program when national units of the Red Cross throughout the world are well prepared to handle many of the administrative details and to recruit property trained teachers.

For their part, the schools should cooperate in whatever way is most locally logical, but having as a clear goal, for every pupil, strong swimming skills at an early age.

Next week: Telephones

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