Suit Up–Swimsuit Drive

Claire Hoffa


Claire Hoffa

Donation box used to collect swimsuits

Claire Hoffa, News Writer

Make a Wave is right, and three Apple Valley High School students are setting out to do just that.

Every middle school in District 196 has a pool, and along with it a gym class. Mrs. Thielen, Valley Middle School gym teacher, said, “Swimming is taught in all three middle school grades – 6th, 7th & 8th grade.” But, with more and more families in District 196 not able to afford a swimsuit due to their economic situations, middle school students are left unequipped to participate.

“The number one goal of the swimming unit at the middle school level is to teach everyone how to swim!” said Thielen.  “Prior to their middle school PE experience, some of our students have never had a single swimming lesson, nor have they ever owned a swimming suit!”

“Suit Up” is hoping to reach out to the schools with the greatest number of students in need. Their primary goal is to donate the swimsuits to local middle schools to ensure that every student gets the chance to learn a valuable life skill.

“We have a need for one piece swimsuits at Valley Middle School,” Thielen said. “We currently have a small, but well-used collection of swimsuits that our student can borrow for their swimming unit if they do not own [one].”

This is not the first time this need has been recognized. Junior Sarah Crippes collected swimsuits at her local church last summer to donate to the middle school gym department.

“I feel really strongly about this cause.  Everyone should have the opportunity to swim; it’s a lifelong skill,” Crippes said. “My family has worked with my church the past few summers at their donation sale, and that’s where I realized that we can make a difference.”

So, DECA, the newly revitalized business club, set up a drive to collect swimsuits for the local middle schools. They are looking forward to collecting as many one-piece, new or gently used, male and female swimsuits as possible.

“Because middle school students come in all shapes and sizes, we try to make each student feel comfortable in a swimsuit that fits them well.  To accomplish this goal, we need a variety of gently used swimsuits for our students to try on,” explained Thielen.

Signs have been hung around the high school and boxes have been placed in four different locations around Apple Valley, giving you a nice reminder and an easy opportunity to donate.

If you, or someone you know, has new or gently used swimsuits, please help contribute to this cause. Donations are being collected from January 20th-February 5th, 2016.

Donation boxes can be found at any of the following locations:

Wise Swim School: 5992 149th St W, Apple Valley, MN

Bluewater Aquatic Center: 5885 149th St W, Apple Valley, MN

Apple Valley High School: 14450 Hayes Rd, Apple Valley, MN

Valley Middle School: 900 Garden View Dr, Apple Valley MN

For more information contact Kayla Kirtz, Sarah Crippes, or Claire Hoffa in person or at [email protected]