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Second-grader saves cousin with district water safety lessons

a girl standing in front of a pool with her arms crossed

Equipped and empowered by knowledge earned in a Northwest ISD water safety program, Lance Thompson Elementary second-grader Tessa Bowler knew exactly what to do when she found herself in a situation to respond to someone in distress.

This school year, second-grade students from all 20 district elementary schools spent two days learning proper swimming technique and ways to stay safe in water at the NISD Aquatic Center. The water safety program begins with lessons about personal safety, followed by lessons about how to respond to those in distress. 

During Easter Sunday, Tessa was in her extended family’s backyard scoping out the hidden Easter eggs when she saw her younger cousin fall into the pool. Remembering what she learned in the water safety program, Tessa sprang into action.

Immediately, Tessa shouted “Aunt Syd!” to alert an adult of the situation. Then, because her cousin was too young to be able to grab onto a flotation device, she jumped in the pool and boosted him up, so his head was out of the water. Her uncle arrived seconds later to pull them both out of the pool, dripping wet in their church clothes.

“Tessa is a great kid  I am not surprised that she jumped into action,” said Amy Lawson, principal at Lance. “I am so proud of her.”

The NISD aquatics team strives to save lives by teaching students about water safety, giving them the tools to make good decisions in and around water. Already, it is making a difference.

“It was important for us to let the staff at the Aquatic Center know how very important their work is, how this program has affected our family and how appreciative we are,” said Tessa’s mother, Amelia Bowler. “Our big extended family is super grateful that Tessa was taught what to do in these situations and felt confident enough to respond!”

To learn more about the water safety program at the NISD Aquatic Center, visit the aquatic center’s website.