SOS named USA Swim­ming Foun­da­tion part­ner

Sunday Star - - LOCAL -

EAS­TON — SOS Sink or Swim re­cently was named an of­fi­cial lo­cal part­ner with USA Swim­ming Foun­da­tion’s Make a Splash ini­tia­tive to help save chil­dren’s lives through swim lessons.

Through Make a Splash, the USA Swim­ming Foun­da­tion part­ners with learn-to-swim providers, com­mu­nity-based wa­ter safety ad­vo­cates and na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions to pro­vide swim­ming lessons and ed­u­cate chil­dren and their fam­i­lies on the im­por­tance of learn­ing how to swim.

To qual­ify for the part­ner­ship, SOS Sink or Swim was vet­ted based on its re­cruit­ment and se­lec­tion process of par­tic­i­pants and the num­ber of chil­dren served; how the pro­gram di­rectly ben­e­fits chil­dren who would not oth­er­wise re­ceive the op­por­tu­nity to learn to swim; and how SOS iden­ti­fies par­tic­i­pants based on need.

Ad­di­tion­ally, SOS Sink or Swim was noted for its ad­her­ence to USA Swim­ming Foun­da­tion Make a Splash lo­cal part­ner best prac­tice stan­dards — which in­cludes a min­i­mum of four hours of in­wa­ter in­struc­tion and a max­i­mum 6:1 stu­dent-to-in­struc­tor ra­tio.

Ac­cord­ing to a Pe­di­atrics and Ado­les­cent Medicine re­port, for­mal swim­ming lessons re­duce the like­li­hood of child­hood drown­ing by 88 per­cent. Ad­di­tion­ally, a 2017 USA Swim­ming Foun­da­tion study re­ports 79 per­cent of chil­dren in house­holds with in­comes less than $50,000 have lit­tle-to-no swim­ming abil­ity.

SOS Sink or Swim’s 2018 swim sea­son in­cluded free, two-week swim­ming lessons of­fered at the Bay Hun­dred Com­mu­nity Pool in St. Michaels and the Ge­orge Mur­phy Com­mu­nity Pool in Eas­ton.

Through char­i­ta­ble do­na­tions to SOS Sink or Swim and part­ner sup­port, more than 3,500 area chil­dren have re­ceived free swim­ming lessons in Tal­bot County since SOS be­gan in 2014. The pro­gram is docked at the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Mar­itime Mu­seum, with CBMM serv­ing as its fis­cal spon­sor, and ad­min­is­tered by the Tal­bot County De­part­ment of Parks and Recre­ation.

The USA Swim­ming Foun­da­tion’s Make a Splash ini­tia­tive is a na­tional, child-fo­cused wa­ter safety cam­paign, which aims to pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity for ev­ery child in Amer­ica to learn to swim. The USA Swim­ming Foun­da­tion has in­vested mil­lions of dol­lars to pro­vide grants to qual­i­fied lo­cal part­ner learn-to-swim pro­grams, to spread na­tional aware­ness and to bring to­gether strate­gic part­ners to end drown­ing.

To date, more than 6 mil­lion chil­dren have re­ceived the life­sav­ing gift of swim lessons through the USA Swim­ming Foun­da­tion Make a Splash Lo­cal Part­ner net­work, com­pris­ing more than 850 qual­i­fied les­son providers across the na­tion. To learn more, visit us­aswim­ming­foun­da­tion.org.

SOS Sink or Swim is ded­i­cated to en­sur­ing ev­ery child on the Eastern Shore has the abil­ity to swim and knows how to be safe in the wa­ter, with a new five-year plan to grow its com­mit­ment be­yond Tal­bot County and to ser­vice adults. Do­na­tions to SOS help keep the pro­gram free for all par­tic­i­pants, with as lit­tle as $50 spon­sor­ing two weeks of free swim­ming lessons and mak­ing a dif fer­ence for a child in need.

To learn more or to do­nate to SOS, visit sossinko­r­swim.org, or send your con­tri­bu­tion to SOS Sink or Swim, 606A N. Tal­bot St., Ste 109, St. Michaels, MD 21663.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

SOS Sink or Swim has been named an of­fi­cial lo­cal part­ner with USA Swim­ming Foun­da­tion’s Make a Splash ini­tia­tive to help save chil­dren’s lives through swim lessons.

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