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New Group Wants To Teach Swim Lessons

By Heather Walters

Colleton kids can get a chance to swim this summer through a new non-profit’s plan to offer swim lessons.
Prince Anthony Rhone is the president of the Colleton County Village Investment Project (VIP), a non-profit group that wants to build a strong community with a focus on recreation. Going forward with that plan, Rhone says the group wants to offer swim lessons to Colleton youth between four and 9 years old. Rhone and other VIP members are hoping to use a portable pool to offer the swim lessons to area youth. He wants to set that pool up at the Colleton County Recreational Department, a spot that he says is centrally located for most of the community.
“VIP is going to work with other groups, like the Colleton County Memorial Library, the sheriff’s office, Colleton County Fire-Rescue and the Walterboro Police Department … we have a goal of helping 300 students learn how to swim for basic water safety,” said Rhone.
Rhone says the VIP group is not in partnership with the county about the portable pool. Since he says building a pool is not within the group’s reach, he wants to raise about $15,000 to help with its plans. The majority of the funds needed will pay for the pool, transfer costs and personnel for swimming instructors.
Since the pool is portable, Rhone says the pool can go into neighborhoods throughout the Colleton community and get to rural areas. He and other VIP members have been publicly speaking with groups, and using local media outlets to ask for help in their efforts.
When asked why he and the VIP members are focused on swim lessons as their main mission right now, Rhone said drowning statistics in youth are too high. Nationally, he says stats show that 20 percent of children who drown are under the age of 14. The majority of youth drowning victims are also black, followed by Hispanic children and then white children.
“We want to have about 300 of our young people learn basic swimming techniques,” he said, adding that their program is patterned after neighboring Charleston County’s swimming program that it has offered for the last several summers.
There is no set time yet as to when this plan will occur.
For more information on the efforts or to donate, contact the VIP or Rhone at 843-562-7388 or via his email at villageinvestmentproject@gmail.com.

Heather Walters (1121 Posts)