According to the CDC, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 – 14. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency room care. Minorities and kids from lower-socioeconomic status households are at a higher risk.

How We’re Keeping Kids Safe

We created Michiana Swims to help ensure all kids in Michiana are safe and confident around water.

Currently we work with local elementary schools to transport second graders to Washington High School’s pool once-per-week for eight weeks. We provide everything the children need: swimsuits, goggles, pool noodles, kickboards, transportation, and of course, lessons.

The lessons happen during the school day, and the teachers incorporate what is learned in the pool into larger instructional activities. The benefits of the program expand beyond water activities. Teachers whose students participated in the program have reported higher self-confidence and said that kids focus better when they return to the classroom. It also provides the opportunity for kids to understand the importance of following instructions and working towards a goal.

For every child this program serves, the Y spends $90, and we currently support the program through funding from Harvey R. and Doris Klockow Foundation, The Pokagon Fund, and other private donations.