Dippy Duck paddles into schools to teach water safety

News | May 15, 2013

CALEXICO — Dippy Duck wiggled and waved to hundreds of students at Cesar Chavez Elementary School on Wednesday as part of the Imperial Irrigation District’s water safety awareness campaign.
The district’s “Stay Active, Play Safe, Be Cool” campaign will be presented to just under 25,000 students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade at 45 schools all over the Valley in coming weeks.
Students giggled and enthusiastically responded to questions for prizes as presenters taught them safety information such as staying away from canals or calling for help if they see someone or something in a canal.
While one student answered that sharks are a canal danger Wednesday, most of the students more correctly responded that canals have slippery banks, strong currents and rocks that can be dangerous.
“I like this because it’s where my mom works and I really like information about canals. It’s one of my favorite subjects,” fourth-grader Derek Silva said.
Others were excited to see the Dippy Duck character, who hasn’t visited schools in several years. Dippy Duck is actually receiving a makeover with a more youthful appearance.
“The kids get all excited and come hug him and high-five him,” IID Dippy Duck coordinator Susie Carrillo said.
“Dippy Duck shows us how to be safe,” fifth-grader Maria Delgado said. “He’s awesome.”
Each of the presentations is tailored to the various ages of the audience with older children receiving more detailed information on the district’s water system and geography of the Colorado River.
The presentation also promotes use of local pools in hopes of deterring children from the canals.
IID’s Board of Directors proclaimed May to be “Water Safety Month.” It has held a water safety program in local schools since 1959, and Dippy Duck joined the program in 1966.
Visit for more information and for interactive games and activities.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or