Kathy Welsh

Kathy Welsh

WHITE PLAINS –  Are you ready to take the plunge and Jump In and Swim?

The City of White Plains hopes so because the City’s 5th Annual “Jump In and Swim” program will kick off on March 25.

Jump In and Swim is all about exposing children and adults to water safety and swimming through a series of free learn to swim activities and classes. In the spring of 2012, White Plains City Mayor Tom Roach called together the various aquatic provider agencies within the City.

Mayor Roach said, “I asked these providers to meet with me to brainstorm how we, as a community, could introduce more children to swimming, expand learn to swim and water safety opportunities, and reduce fears associated with lack of regular exposure to the water. The group came up with some great ideas and we all came away from that initial meeting excited to get to work.” As a result of that meeting, a coalition of community partners was formed and this group has been working every year since 2012 to produce “Jump In and Swim.”

The statistics involving swim skills and drownings are sobering:

  • Nearly 70% of African American children and nearly 60% of Hispanic children have low or no swim ability;
  • Approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S.;
  • More than one in five fatal drowning victims are children younger than 14;
  • Drowning is also a silent killer—most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time;
  • Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children aged one to four years;
  • African-American children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers;
  • If a parent does not know how to swim, there is only a 13 percent chance that a child in that household will learn how to swim.

Participating in this effort to make sure every child and adult has exposure to water safety and learn basic swim skills are the White Plains Recreation and Parks Department, White Plains YMCA, YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester, White Plains Youth Bureau and the White Plains High School Swim Team.  Participating agencies will offer free swim classes and activities to residents of all ages.

The 2017 Jump In and Swim Schedule includes:

  • Kick-off event featuring Olympian swimmer Roy Burch at White Plains High School Pool on Saturday, March 25 at 11:30 a.m.
  • Swim Jamboree for families at the White Plains YMCA on Friday, April 14, 2:30 p.m.
  • Learn to swim activities for participants in the White Plains Youth Bureau After-School Program hosted by the White Plains High School Swim Team
  • Learn-to Swim classes for all ages and levels hosted by the YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester, April 3 – April 8
  • Splash Week – Learn to Swim activities at the White Plains YMCA, April 10 – 14

In addition, participants at select programs will receive a free Jump in and Swim knapsack to commemorate this City-wide initiative (while supplies last).

To view the full listing of all Jump-In and Swim Month activities visit the City website at www.cityofwhiteplains.com.

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