2005-06-03 / Community

Region Five Develops Water Safety Video

Members of the Water Safety Committee left to right: Hank Lori, Vinna Deninno, Janet Fash and John Neuner.Members of the Water Safety Committee left to right: Hank Lori, Vinna Deninno, Janet Fash and John Neuner. The Department of Education’s Region 5, which oversees the schools in Rockaway, has developed a DVD on water safety to make children more aware of the dangers associated with pool and beach activities.

Dr. Kathleen M. Cashin, Regional Superintendent for Region 5 has initiated assembly programs throughout the region on water safety. The assembly programs are designed to inform children of all the beautiful water resources available in New York City while making them aware of the potential dangers associated with water activities.

Floyd Smith, a Rockaway community activist and John Neuner, a life- long water safety activist from City Island in the Bronx met with Cashin several weeks ago and voiced their concern that schools do not make children aware of the dangers related to water activities. Cashin agreed that it would be a good idea to develop materials on the subject and inform children before summer arrives.

Cashin requested Hank Iori, the Region’s Lead Instructional Technology Specialist, and Kathleen Walker, Director of Health and Physical Fitness for the Region, to develop a media presentation to use in assembly programs.

Iori reached out to staff from MS-202 to assist with the development of the presentation. Vinna Deninno, the schools computer coordinator, and Janet Fash, media coordinator for the school, joined the effort. Fash is a chief lifeguard in Rockaway Beach during the summer and brought a wealth of experience to the table.

A committee researched the subject and developed a presentation in one week.

A focus group was formed of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to screen and review the presentation. Carl Martinez, Director of the Federal Parks Department lifeguard and other key individuals attended. The interaction with the students confirmed that the presentation materials were informative and left the kids with valuable information on water safety. The feedback from the students was very positive. They felt that the information they learned was very helpful and expressed a desire to share it with their family members.

The committee agreed that this was just a first step in the development of future materials with more extensive information on the subject linked to the science and math curriculum.

At this time, the region is looking for individuals with lifeguard experience to assist schools with the presentations and offer further insight into the lifeguard experience. The DVD materials developed are easy to follow and school personnel will be presenting the materials. Having a lifeguard with their beach equipment, jacket, buoy or other items associated with water safety will help to enhance the assembly presentation.

Those with lifeguard experience who would like to assist in the school presentations should call Iori at the Regional Office at 347-463-0281.

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