Clearwater, FL: National Water Safety Month is an annual awareness campaign coordinated by the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance with support from the American Red Cross, National Drowning Prevention Alliance, National Recreation and Park Association, and World Waterpark Association. CFY’s newest community outreach is a water-safety program which targets Pinellas County families within Title 1 elementary schools. The 2022 test programs revealed that 80% of all children had never received any formal water training. This program encourages children in K through 2 to participate in a 2-week program as part of their school’s P.E. curriculum that focuses on developing life-long water safety skills.
Two schools in this pilot program were selected and approximately 650 children received life-long water safety skills. In the launch of this program, the observation was roughly 80% of these children had never received any type of formal water-safety instruction. Out of those children 45% were considered unsafe swimmers. The growth of this program is crucial in keeping youth safe in and around water. In 2023, 4 schools were impacted with the water safety classes: McMullen Booth Elementary, Eisenhower and Skycrest Elementary have already been completed. CFY is currently working with Bellair Elementary and is working with the City of Dunedin and San Jose Elementary for the last two weeks of the school year. With the help of Juvenile Welfare Board (JWB), American Red Cross, Epic Wing, PDQ and the City of Clearwater this program has already helped over 1100 children with our facilitation.
“The financial obligations per school are close to $15,000, so it takes great partners like JWB and the Red Cross who are able to assist in the instructor cost, add in the transportation, swim shirts and other supplies it is important that we can key in on donations from individuals and possible other businesses to step up so CFY can continue to push the growth of the Title 1 Water Safety Program. Every dollar counts!”Said Brooke Bennett Development Manager, CFY
Check out the full feature on Fox 13 with Charley Belcher: