The NESPA Foundation recently awarded grants to two educational programs that provide children with life-saving water skills. Both grantees are long-time partners with The Foundation and have a proven track records of results.

“The Foundation is thrilled to support these fantastic programs focused on providing our children and their families with key water safety information,” says NESPA Foundation President John Lochren. “Long Island Kid Swim and New York State’s Learn to Swim Program fit perfectly with our Foundation’s mission. Starting with water safety and then taking the next step of learning to swim, we look forward to this next generation of swimmers using recreational swimming as an outlet for both fun and exercise.”

KidSwim Long Island was awarded a $4,600 grant which will expand its water safety initiative. KidSwim is a water safety program focused on educating pre-school and elementary school aged children on the rules of water safety. Over the past three years, the program has given out more than 100,000 water safety booklets and performed more than 150 water safety book readings, character/ puppet shows and assemblies. KidSwim has already reached over 37,000 children.

“Long Island has over 600 miles of shoreline and it’s estimated that one in six Long Island homes has a swimming pool,” says CJ DelVaglio, president of the Long Island Pool and Spa Association. “The chance that children in our community will be near water is very high. KidSwim gives them the tools they need to be safer not just in the summer but year-round. With the support of The NESPA Foundation, we look forward to another successful season of teaching children in Long Island about water safety.”

A $5,000 grant was awarded to New York State’s Learn to Swim Program in support of its sixth season. The Learn to Swim program encourages New Yorkers with age-eligible children to sign up for free swimming lessons that get kids acquainted with the water in a safe and fun way. Since its start in 2013, the Learn to Swim Program has expanded its reach to serve low-income, inner-city communities, as well as rural populations across all of New York State.

“New York State’s Learn to Swim program started with just two parks in 2013 and will grow to over 30 parks in 2018,” says Rose Harvey, commissioner of New York State Parks. “Through the support of the NESPA Foundation, we have been able to provide swimming lessons to over 3,500 kids, and we look forward to seeing that number climb this summer.”