“Idaho is ranked number two for drownings in the country. It’s one of the top causes of death among youth. At the Y, we teach water safety through swim lessons, specifically, our Make a Splash and RISE programs.
The Make a Splash program receives funding through grants and donations. We teach third-graders from Title I schools how to swim. We pay for them to be bussed over during their PE classes. The first day of the program, they’re tested on seven skills—blowing bubbles, floating on their front and back, gliding on their front and back, treading water, and jumping in water deeper than themselves and returning to the edge. The program gives them water safety skills and improves their ability to focus in class and at home.
The RISE program teaches middle school refugees how to swim for free. This program started in response to the young refugee that drowned in Quinn’s Pond two years ago. His parents went to the school district and said their other kids needed to learn how to swim.
“I love being at the Y. Seeing the impact we make in the community and different age groups and abilities and cultures—it’s awesome.”