The National Swimming Pool Foundation announced recipients for its annual Step Into Swim grants.
“Teaching children to swim should be the No. 1 charitable outreach of our industry,” said NSPF CEO Thomas Lachocki, Ph. D. “Not only is swimming a vital life skill that opens the door to a world of activities, but knowing how to swim reduces the likelihood that a child will drown by 88%.”
NSPF launched Step Into Swim is 2012 with the goal of teaching 1 million people to swim in 10 years.
Two first-time recipients serve lower-income populations. TheYMCA of Greater Charlotte, South Carolina, received $10,000 to teach swimming and water safety to children living in apartment complexes, which typically operate without lifeguards and have been the sites of many child drownings. A joint program by Cincinnati Public Schools and the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati also received $10,000 for a program to provide first- and second grade children with swimming and water-safety instruction.
Repeat recipients include Angels of America’s Fallen, Jewish Community Center Association, New York State Parks, and SwimToday (a program of USA Swimming).
In addition, several local learn-to-swim programs were selected by some of the individual donors.
NSPF reports that this year’s fundraising has significantly surpassed last year’s, with donations so far reaching $112,000. More pool and aquatics industry donors have signed on, including equipment manufacturers Pentair Aquatics and Hayward Pool Products, builders group Master Pools Guild, the National Plasterers Council, and the American Chemistry Council. Significant donations also came from the Bill Kent Family Foundation and the Blake Stabler Fund.
All donated funds go to the grant recipients, with NSPF covering administrative cost. For more information or to donate, go to stepintoswim.org.