Olympic champs throw a lifeline to poor kids who can’t swim
Olympic champs throw a lifeline to poor kids who can’t swim This June 2015 photo provided by the USA Swimming Foundation shows Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones giving a swimming lesson to a child in Nederland, Texas, as part of the USA Swimming Foundation's Make a Splash program. (USA Swimming Foundation via AP)
Olympic champs throw a lifeline to poor kids who can’t swim
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Missy Franklin, Cullen Jones, Rowdy Gaines and a handful of other Olympic champions are climbing into the pool this summer. They want to help American kids learn how to swim.
They've got plenty of work to do.
The USA Swimming Foundation's most recent survey was released May 31. It found nearly 64 percent of African-American kids, 45 percent of Hispanic kids and 79 percent of children in families that bring in less than $50,000 in annual income have little or no swimming ability.
The foundation is issuing $324,000 in grants this year to its Make A Splash program. The grants will help fund reduced-cost swim lessons to more than 25,000 children at 71 pools across 25 states. The foundation has provided more than $4.3 million since 2007 to help fund learn-to-swim programs across the country.
"We need to keep a sustained effort to introduce children to swimming and drive the important message that learning to swim can save your life," said Debbie Hesse.  She is the USA Swimming Foundation executive director.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10 people drown every day in the United States. About a quarter of those are younger than 14. The CDC says African-American children drown at a rate nearly 5.5 times higher than white children.
The study is a follow-up to one first conducted by researchers at the University of Memphis. That was in 2010. In that survey, 70 percent of African-American children and nearly 60 percent of Hispanics had little or no swimming ability. The numbers have improved slightly over the past seven years. But they still paint a harrowing picture.
"The end goal is to create real solutions designed to ensure children are safer in the water. Especially minority youth who are at a higher risk of drowning," said Carol Irwin. She is the study's principal investigator.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween78/olympic-champs-throw-lifeline-poor-kids-who-cant-swim/

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Why is swimming a bigger challenge for some kids?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • juliac-kut
    6/06/2017 - 04:03 p.m.

    I think it's really nice that they are doing this. My eyes nearly popped if out of my head when it said then 10 people in just America die everyday because they drowned. And In Africa, about 55 people die every day because of drowning! This article really grabbed my attention and I found it very helpful

  • APHIL06
    9/08/2017 - 08:47 a.m.

    this article is sad but helpful at the same time. I really hope they do this for kids because I know how kids want to swim but hey just don't know how. Plus this can be helpful in case they see somebody drowning.

  • JuliaP-erl
    9/19/2017 - 03:24 p.m.


  • hgray-wim5
    10/27/2017 - 01:08 p.m.

    I think what the swimmers are doing are very important. They are literally reducing the rate of deaths. Most people may think that swimming is not important, but there are always life and death situations that involve water, if you don't know hoe to swim, not because you don't want to, but because you can't. This

  • jthom-wim5
    10/27/2017 - 01:09 p.m.

    I think that this was a smart thing to do and that this is something really kind. I believe that this is a good way for people that might not be able to afford or do swimming to be able to. I also feel that it is a good thing because it is much safer for kids to do.

  • jthom-wim5
    10/27/2017 - 01:12 p.m.

    I think that this ides was really smart because people that might not be able to afford it could be able to do it. Also, I feel that it was a really kind thing of them to think of. Lastly, I think that this was a good idea because it was safer.

  • abbyt-lew1
    12/15/2017 - 01:11 p.m.

    I'm glad that they are doing this for the poor kids who don't know how to swim. It might just save their lives one day.

  • Kristae-bru1
    1/07/2018 - 11:03 a.m.

    Swimming is a bigger challenge for some kids for multiple reasons. Some kids have disabilities, which makes fun activities not be able to happen. The kids could either be stuck in a wheelchair or just not have the strength to do anything. Some parents may not even have the time or money to be taught how to swim. After hearing how many people drown a day some kids may be worried and scared to try swimming.

  • Gracew-bru1
    1/07/2018 - 08:52 p.m.

    Swimming can be a bigger challenge for some kids because sometimes families do not have the money to pay for swimming lessons or they do not have the time. And if the kid enters a pool not knowing how to swim then they could have a risk at drowning. That is why you always want to make sure you know you are able to swim before entering a pool or any where you are going into water.

  • cbail-wim4
    10/12/2018 - 11:58 a.m.

    swimming is a bigger challenge because some kids family's have no to pay for swimming lessons are have no way to pay for the lesson

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