Wichita, Kansas – School is back, and so is the Greater Wichita YMCA Free SPLASH! program. Offered to area second graders in schools designated as low income (over 60 percent reduced / free meals), SPLASH! has a very specific objective: to ensure the safety of children when they are in and around water.
“SPLASH! Gives kids basic water safety skills that will save their lives if they find themselves in a dangerous situation,” said Tyrone Baker, senior program director for the community development branch of the Y. “ Reaching children this age is crucial so they can be confident in the water now and as they grow older. ”
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged 1 to 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The USA Swimming Foundation estimates that 79 percent of children from families earning less than $ 50,000 per year tend to have little or no ability to swim.
The Y meets these statistics head-on thanks to SPLASH !. Throughout the school year, Y branches in Wichita, Andover, El Dorado, and Newton invite participating second-year classes to their homes once a week for six weeks for SPLASH! sessions. Children learn things such as what to look for in a safe place to swim, how to float, water rescue techniques and survival swimming techniques which include pushing the bottom of the pool to resurface and the technique ” swim, float, swim ”. .
Grade 2 students are targeted for SPLASH! because of where they are in their social and emotional development. This is the perfect time to reach children who are more confident and independent as they are no longer new to the school routine, are not afraid to try new things, and have a greater capacity for absorbing what they want. ‘we teach them.
Up to 2,000 students are served by SPLASH! program each year, which is funded by the Y’s strong community campaign. Youth development is one of the Y’s three focus areas that guides efforts to provide a safe environment for young people to be. active and healthy, give back to their community, explore their talents and reach their full potential.