The Make a Splash program is a community outreach program that focuses on teaching the lifesaving skill of swimming to children. There are approximately 3,000 unintentional, fatal drownings in the United States each year. This averages out to nine per day. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 14 and is the leading cause of accidental death in children up to four years old. There were more fatal drownings in Texas in 2009 than ever recorded previously. The YMCA understands this and is trying to make a difference.
One program that we have had great success with is Make a Splash. The program is centered around the knowledge that the kids that need swimming instruction the most are the ones who are not able to make it in to traditional aquatics programs. Our Make a Splash team is made up of a travelling group of two Lifeguards and four Swim Instructors who take YMCA Swim Instruction in to local apartment communities and offer free swim lessons to the community. We bring all our own safety equipment and teaching aids and while we are at a pool we treat it like any of our actual facility pools. While in the water we never exceed a one to six student to instructor ratio and focus on very basic water safety skills. Over the course of 8 classes, each 45 minutes long, our goal is develop the skills in every child to make sure they could save their own life in an emergency.
In 2013 our Make a Splash team taught swimming lessons to 165 kids in 6 different Plano apartment communities. We do not deny any child the right to learn and last summer we had mothers with their toddlers in the pool alongside 15 year olds who had never had the chance to learn. By the end of the lessons 89% of the kids tested could jump in to deep water, turn to find the wall and then safely climb out. 65% could swim at least 15 feet unassisted.
Our goal for the 2014 summer is to expand to 8 Plano Apartment Communities.
Funded by Plano, TX (March 2014)