Lenihan students graduate from Teach Them to Swim program

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These Lenihan students graduated from the Teach Them to Swim program this week, bringing the total number of young people to go through the program up to 678 since 2012.

A great local program has 39 more graduates after a ceremony earlier this week. 

The Teach Them to Swim program was borne out of a tragic few weeks in 2012 when several young people died while swimming in the Iowa River. In response, the Marshalltown Community School District partnered with the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA to teach Lenihan Intermediate School students about swimming safety. 

“I’m very proud of everybody who has participated in this program,” said Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper at the graduation ceremony this week. “It takes a lot of courage to learn something new.” 

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Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper speaks to students and parents at the graduation ceremony, urging families to choose safe swimming options like the YMCA and Marshalltown Aquatic Center pools over the Iowa River. 

With the 2019 graduates included, a total of 678 students have completed the program since it started in 2012. 

Lenihan Principal Kyle Young also spoke at the ceremony and thanked the students’ parents for encouraging involvement in community programs. 

“Keep pushing them to be involved,” he said. “There are a ton of opportunities in Marshalltown, both through our schools and through community partners.” 

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Lenihan Principal Kyle Young shares how proud he is of the students for going through the Teach Them to Swim program. He also said he is glad so many parents are pushing their students to be involved in community and school programs.  Also pictured are Heidi Draisey, center, and Wendy Soltero-Hueso, both of the Marshalltown Y.

Both Young and Tupper also thanked MCSD and YMCA staff, as well as community partners, for their work with the program. 

This year’s graduates were each awarded a certificate of completion and a life vest by Young, Tupper, Heidi Draisey of the YMCA and Jill Bidwell of Stover Controls. 

Tupper said he hopes the students continue to strengthen the skills they gained in the program and reminded them that the Iowa River is not a safe place to swim. Instead, he encouraged students to take a dip in the Marshalltown Aquatic Center or YMCA pools when it gets hot in the summertime. 

For more on the Teach Them to Swim program, click here