A Lesson in Water Safety with Mr. Lou

 A Lesson in Water Safety with Mr. Lou

Mr. Lou and his crew teamed up with Bettina to make the event possible.

By Katie McFadden

May marks National Water Safety Awareness Month. This week, the middle school students at P256Q@PS43, a District 75 special education school, left with a lesson in water safety, swag and smiles thanks to Mr. Lou of the Black Surfing Association.

PS256@PS43 operates with an incentive program, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), in which educators use a point system as an incentive to encourage good behavior. Each period is broken into five sections: Respect, Organization, Cooperation, Kindness and Safety (ROCKS). Students can earn 100 points a day and “bank” their points in a bank book to purchase items at the school store on Fridays. When paraprofessional Bettina Hornung was discussing this system with Lou Harris of the Black Surfing Association, he was eager to offer an extra incentive.

Harris went to the school on Beach 29th Street on Monday morning to lead a water safety assembly for the students. Harris, who runs a free surf program for children across the peninsula, led a lesson on water safety to get the students prepared for the summer.

He also came with plenty of swag. For answering questions after their water safety lesson, Harris provided plenty of Vans sneakers and other gear. One lucky student, 11-year-old Anton Haynes, even went home with his very own surfboard. The students left with new knowledge, fun goodies and an eagerness to try surfing with Mr. Lou.


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