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The YMCA of Austin - in collaboration with Colin's Hope - is working toward the goal of providing all area pre-k and first graders with education on safety, aquatics, and fitness activity. The program is Project SAFE (Safety, Aquatics, Fitness Education).
Hear from some of grateful parents and schools:
- "Both teachers and parents agree that water safety is an extremely important life skill. Many parents cannot afford swim lessons and truly appreciate the opportunity. Thank you for all you do!"
- "This is the third year my school has participated. The feedback from parents has been enthusiastic and positive."
- "Would I return again? Absolutely! The kids returned more focused and positive. The team building and camaraderie really transferred in to the classroom."
- "Love the instructors! Very kind to the students and make them feel comfortable."
- They (kids) were all sad when our two weeks ended and wanted to continue to attend the Y daily. They loved the lessons and wrote and talked about the experience daily."
Accidental Injury: Accidental injuries are the leading cause of death and serious injury to children 14 and under.
- Most childhood injuries can be easily prevented by taking simple steps to educate children, use safety equipment and provide close supervision
- The average length of stay for a patient admitted with trauma related injuries is 3.1 days at Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas
The YMCA of Austin - in collaboration with Colin's Hope - is working toward the goal of providing all area first graders with education on safety, aquatics, and fitness activity. The program is Project SAFE (Safety, Aquatics, Fitness Education).
- The YMCA of Austin will provide swim instruction, safety education and fitness activities at no charge to parents. Classes will take place at YMCA of Austin branches.
- The YMCA of Austin taught 2,229 preK & first-graders to swim in the 2017-2018 school year.
- Since the Project SAFE inception in 2008-2009 school year, the Austin YMCA has provided free instruction to more than 16,000 children
Drownings and Near-Drownings: Each year, more than 830 children ages 14 and under die as a result of unintentional drowning. On average, an annual 3,600 injuries occur to children due to a near-drowning incident.
- Texas lost at least 104 children to fatal drownings in 2016. Source Colin's Hope
- About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. Source Centers for Disease Control
- For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Source Centers for Disease Control
- The fatal drowning rate of African American children ages 5 to 14 is almost three times that of white children in the same age range. Source Centers for Disease Control
Physical Activity and Childhood Obesity: 55% of Texas youth did not meet recommended levels of physical activity.
- 49% did not attend physical education classes in an average school week. Source: Centers for Disease Control
- 16% fall under the obese category compared to the national average at 13%. Source: Centers for Disease Control
A Typical Day
- Buses deliver students to YMCA facilities
- Students engage in two, 35-minute instruction periods:
- Half of the students engage in swim lessons
- Half engage in physical activity lessons
- Classes switch upon completion of each lesson
- Buses return students to school
Desired Program Outcomes
- Provide all program participants with beginner-level swimming instruction, thus building a safer community
- Provide program participants with safety and injury prevention instruction
- Provide participants with instruction in fitness activities that are conducive to a healthy lifestyle
- Help participants develop self-confidence, self-respect and appreciation for their own worth as individuals
- Create platform for children to engage parents in conversations about safety issues and healthy lifestyles
- Andrews Elementary
- Blanton Elementary
- Mathews Elementary
- Oak Hill Elementary
- Pease Elementary
- Sunset Valley Elementary
Uphaus Early Childhood
- Wooldridge Elementary
- Wooten Elementary
- Blanco Vista Elementary
- Camino Real Elementary
- Ralph Pfluger Elementary
- Science Hall Elementary
- Tom Green Elementary
- Tobias Elementary
- Decker Elementary
- Northwest Elementary
Texas lost at more than 100 children to fatal drownings in 2016 and 55% of Texas youth did not meet recommended levels of physical activity. The Y, in collaboration with community partners is working toward the goal of providing all Pre-K, kinder, and first graders with instruction on safety, aquatics and fitness education - Project SAFE. This free program served more than 16,000 children since the program's inception.
Your contribution of $1,000 will support Project SAFE instruction for an entire first grade class. Donate today by clicking the 'learn more' button below.
- Colin's Hope
- St. David's Foundation
- YMCA Endowment Fund
- YMCA of the USA