JCC Association is one of four organizations to receive funds from the National Swimming Pool Foundation through their Step Into Swim™ campaign. Step Into Swim awarded JCC Association $10,000 to encourage programs that teach people how to be safe in the water. According to Steven Becker, JCC Association vice-president, health and wellness services, the money will be granted to JCCs to defray the upfront costs to bring the Lenny Krayzelburg JCC Swim Academy to their facilities.
“The Lenny K Swim Academy has a unique system for teaching even infants to be safe in the water,” Becker said, “and we’re eager for JCCs to sign on for this proven method.” So far, seven JCCs offer the Lenny K JCC Swim Academy, with several more about to do so.
Four-time Olympic gold-medal winner Krayzelburg developed the SwimRight Method to teach the youngest children to roll over and breathe in the water, insuring they remain safe. The curriculum then goes on step-by-step to teach children how to swim. “Kids want to spend their time in the water, so making sure that they are water safe is one of our main objectives,” Krayzelburg said. “By using our method, they develop a sense of comfort in the water. Then we can go on to teach them strokes.”
The other three agencies to be awarded grants from Step Into Swim are the American Red Cross, the U.S. Swim School Association, and 21st Century Swimming Lessons.
“The Step Into Swim campaign is all about helping organizations create more swimmers,” said Thomas M. Lachocki, CEO, National Swimming Pool Foundation. “The JCC has had great success reaching more people in the communities they serve. The National Swimming Pool Foundation is thrilled to help them to reach even further.”
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children under four years old. Learning to swim is an obvious corrective. In addition, swimming is a lifelong healthful activity that can reduce obesity, another critical problem among American children. “We are very grateful for this grant,” Becker said, “and eager to put it to good use making children safer and healthier.”
“I am excited that National Swimming Pool Foundation understands the impact LK Swim Academy and JCCs are making on young lives with our learn-to-swim program,” Krayzelburg said. “Their financial commitment will certainly help us to recruit additional JCCs to implement our program and continue to make children water safe.”