Minnesota is home to more than 10,000 inland lakes, many rivers and a corner of Lake Superior.

Many homes have swimming pools, and families may spend vacations at indoor water parks or hotels with pools.

There is no escape — there is water, water everywhere!

Our regular access to water makes it essential to learn swimming and water safety skills.

Cloquet Public Schools and Cloquet Community Education invest great effort and resources to help the children (and adults) of our community learn basic skills to help them safely enjoy the water.

Our swim lessons begin with Water Babies, where an adult is in the water with their baby learning how to help them adjust and gain comfort with the feel of water. Children progress at their own pace, depending on how often they have lessons and how often they are in the water.

During middle school years in Cloquet, students are fortunate to have swim as part of the physical education curriculum. This reinforces swim skills for those who have had training, and helps introduce those who have not yet had lessons.

We encourage all families to help their children learn to be safe around water. When children are young, go in the water with them. Help them get comfortable and learn basic safety skills. As they grow, swim lessons can help them learn more skills, as well as how to stay safe in the water.

For adults who never had the opportunity for swim lessons, Cloquet Community Education offers them. It’s never too late to learn basic swim skills to help keep you and your family safe.

For youth and adults who love to swim and would like part-time work, we are always hiring lifeguards and swim instructors with Red Cross certification. We offer a few certification classes each year, so check it out!

As our ice melts and the water opens up, check all safety equipment and make sure you are prepared for another season of fun in the water. We are fortunate to be near so much fresh water. Let’s respect this great gift and keep ourselves safe.

"Community Education Corner," published weekly in the Pine Journal, features news from Community Education programs in Carlton County.