HCISD kicks off ninth year of SEAL Program

It’s a new school year at HCISD, and that means that more than 1,000 new second graders will learn how to swim through the SEAL program at the Harlingen Aquatic Center by the end of this school year.

In nine years, the SEAL program has taught close to 10,000 elementary students the basics of water safety and swim basics.

“When these second graders come in, they are nervous and scared because they don’t know how to swim,” Coordinator for Athletic Advancement and Aquatics Sandra Flinn said.  “But eight days later, you see them stand a little taller. It’s pretty cool to see. It’s a gift for us, and it’s a gift for these students to have the knowledge of water safety, for them to learn how to help themselves and each other, and to be able to build a pipeline for a lifetime sport.”

Throughout the school year, every second-grade classroom at every elementary campus gets scheduled for swimming lessons.

“It is going fantastic,” HCISD substitute teacher Hilda Moreno said. “When they go in the pool, they go over the stretching and the warmups, and the lifeguards start with their lessons. They have been working on floating forward and backward. The kids are all excited, and they are going through their directives greatly.”

This year, Treasure Hills Elementary was the first campus to visit the aquatic center for their lessons.

“I love how we play and learn, and I can swim like a dog,” Treasure Hills Elementary second grader Edith Perez said.