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Chaney Law Firm donates life jackets during Summer Safety program at Perritt Primary School

Perritt Primary School invites members of the community to speak to students about safety during the last week of school. As part of this year's safety week, the Chaney Law Firm spoke to two groups of pre-K, kindergarten, and first graders about water safety. Together with Wal-Mart, the firm gave away 20 life jackets to kids in the school.

First-grader River Chaney led off the program by introducing the members of the firm. Nathan asked the kids who was excited about summer vacation, and we still don't know who waved their hands harder — the students of the teachers. Nathan asked the kids to tell their summer plans, and there were a wide range of responses: visit the lake, beach, river, or water park; travel to Costa Rica, Sea World, and Magic Springs; and stay in a hotel. All these things involve water, so Nathan spent a few minutes telling the students about his own experiences with water safety. Nathan told of getting fishhooks in his head not once, but twice, as a youngster. The kids suggested he wear a hat and sunglasses while fishing. He also told of getting a bad case of poison ivy on the banks of the river, and how to identify poison ivy.

Hilary went next, and had River tell the kids about a few pictures:

L to R: The Chaney family; River and Sue E. in the family boat; and River and Nathan blowing bubbles across the water.

Hilary discussed the importance of wearing sunscreen, and told the kids to look for SPF 30 or higher. She asked the kids if they knew about the buddy system, and why it was important to have a friend around when you swim. The kids responded that a friend can tell an adult or lifeguard if you get in trouble in the water. Hilary let the kids know swimming lessons are available this summer at the Arkadelphia Aquatic Park and Henderson State University. Finally, Hilary explained that kids should never swim after dark, since you can't see how deep the water is.

Terri "Manners" Chaney spoke next about keeping safe in the sun. She put on three hats, and asked the kids to tell her which one was best to wear outside. First came an elf hat, which the kids knew wasn't good because it didn't have a bill. Next came a baseball cap, which was a little better. Finally, she donned a wide-brimmed hat, and the kids all could see that was the best choice for the sun. Terri also talked about the importance of drinking plenty of water, and how to identify heat sickness. She also talked about not diving headfirst into water except from a diving board.

Uncle Taylor served as the surprise guest, and came out in dressed for the part. He went through several steps of getting ready to go out on the water. The kids told him he shouldn't wear long clothes on the water because they might get heavy if he fell in. They also told him to wear his life jacket and to make sure it was cinched tight. They told him to apply sunscreen, which Terri did (because in primary school, your mom needs to rub the sunscreen in). With his hat and glasses, the kids helped Taylor get fully ready for a day on the water. I think he might've left the office early today...

Don "Granddaddy" Chaney went next, and he explained the legal reason why kids need to wear life jackets: because water safety is important, parents can be ticketed if kids aren't wearing life jackets around the water:

The next segment of the program was a joint effort between the Chaney Law Firm and the local Wal-Mart. Together, we donated 20 life jackets and held a drawing to see which children won. River passed out all the life jackets to the winners.

We had a great time presenting to the kids at Perritt Primary, and wish everyone a safe and fun summer vacation!