Living in South Texas means warm weather almost all year long and what better way to cool off than with a dip in a pool or a swim in the ocean.

Swimming is a recreational sport that can become a dangerous and tragic situation in a blink of an eye.

The City of Alice and Premont Independent School District have partnered to provide a water safety program to students thanks to funds from the TTIPS Grant. The grant is primarily an academic grant that does allow some money to be used for recreation, according to Premont Superintendent Steve VanMatre.

TTIPS Grants funds most of the Premont ISD summer programs.

Water safety is among the most needed of safety programs to teach youth and encourage a healthy lifestyle through the promotion of physical activities and athletics.

On Monday, Jan. 29, Premont second graders visited the Alice Multi-Use Complex and Natatorium to familiarize themselves with the facility before they begin the actual swimming lessons.

"This initiative is so important that even if we didn't have the grant we would fund with local dollars because because it supplements are PE program and its a safety issue," VanMatre said. "Regardless of where you live learning how to swim is a safety issue, no question about it."

The students will take their first swimming lesson on Feb. 12 in the facility's swimming pool with lifeguards and teachers. Students were laughing and joking about how they can't wait to jump in the water.

"Learning how to swim is important so I won't drown," said Neveah Alaniz, Premont second grade student.

Alaniz goes to her neighbor's house in the summer to swim and with her family to the beach. She and approximately 30 of her fellow students will learn a vital lesson while having fun.

Aquatic Facility Manager Taylor Johnson and his staff are thrilled with the opportunity to extend these course and services to Premont.