For A Better Us

July 18, 2017

Florida Blue Donates $100,000 to First Coast YMCA Safety Around Water Program

To support the critical need of swim safety and drown prevention in Florida, the First Coast YMCA announced today a donation of $100,000 from health care leader Florida Blue. The support will provide free water safety lessons for hundreds of children on the First Coast. It is a program the Y is able to offer for free based on children/schools eligibility in the free/reduced lunch programs. This program is funded through grants, partnerships and our Annual Fundraising Campaign.

As a leader in water safety and swim instruction, the Y’s Safety Around Water program is designed to teach children how to reach the water’s surface if submerged, safely reach the edge of a pool, exit any body of water and respond to unexpected water situations. Research shows that participation in formal water safety and swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children 1 to 4 years of age.

“Every child deserves access to water safety resources,” said YMCA of Florida’s First Coast President and CEO Eric Mann. “We thank Florida Blue for this incredibly generous support of the Safety Around Water initiative. This gift enables us to teach lifesaving water safety skills to more than 800 additional children in our North Florida community alone. Building a stronger, safer and healthier community is an ongoing effort that cannot be achieved without partnerships like this.”

In recent years, Florida Blue has contributed more than $700,000 to support various YMCA initiatives across the state of Florida, and has stayed actively involved in improving overall health and wellness for people of all ages and backgrounds. Here on the First Coast, the company also played a significant role in helping the Y open the Florida Blue Wellness Center at the Winston Family Y along with the Healthy Living Center, a comprehensive resource for all local residents to receive programs that address health concerns in surrounding neighborhoods.

“The quality of life in Jacksonville is personified by its natural resources,” said Florida Blue Market President Darnell Smith. “Every child should be able to explore and enjoy the full, life-enabling energy of water. Learning how to swim and be safe around water will enable parents and children to conquer fears and embrace life more abundantly.”

Susan Towler, Florida Blue executive director of corporate social responsibility, has long been passionate about bringing this life skill to children and their families. “Drowning is a preventable tragedy, and we have a responsibility to help parents understand the importance of teaching themselves and their children how to survive in water. Learning lifesaving water safety skills is a solution that helps ensure children can grow up strong and healthy.”

The YMCA has offered swim lessons on the First Coast since the 1950s.

 

To support the critical need of swim safety and drown prevention in Florida, the First Coast YMCA announced today a donation of $100,000 from health care leader Florida Blue. The support will provide free water safety lessons for hundreds of children on the First Coast. It is a program the Y is able to offer for free based on children/schools eligibility in the free/reduced lunch programs. This program is funded through grants, partnerships and our Annual Fundraising Campaign. As a leader in water safety and swim instruction, the Y’s Safety Around Water program is designed to teach children how to reach the water’s surface if submerged, safely reach the edge of a pool, exit any body of water and respond to unexpected water situations. Research shows that participation in formal water safety and swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children 1 to 4 years of age. “Every child deserves access to water safety resources,” said YMCA…


June 20, 2016

4 Ways to Save Kids’ Lives This Summer

With increased access to beaches, lakes and pools, summer fun can quickly turn to danger for kids across the country. Swim lessons are an important youth development opportunity that ensure young children have self-rescuing skills, but adult supervision is always necessary when it comes to water safety.

Safety Around Water graphic

Four tips that will save kids’ lives this summer:

1. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water

2. Never leave a child unattended in a bath tub

3. Empty kiddie pools immediately after use

4. When visiting a new home, check the premises for potential water hazards

Looking for more tips and support?

The YMCA is committed to nurturing kids’ full potential by keeping them safe during summer camp and every day year-round. Click here to learn more about our Safety Around Water swim programs.

With increased access to beaches, lakes and pools, summer fun can quickly turn to danger for kids across the country. Swim lessons are an important youth development opportunity that ensure young children have self-rescuing skills, but adult supervision is always necessary when it comes to water safety. Four tips that will save kids’ lives this summer: 1. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water 2. Never leave a child unattended in a bath tub 3. Empty kiddie pools immediately after use 4. When visiting a new home, check the premises for potential water hazards Looking for more tips and support? The YMCA is committed to nurturing kids’ full potential by keeping them safe during summer camp and every day year-round. Click here to learn more about our Safety Around Water swim programs.


May 6, 2016

Enjoy Summer Fun in the Water, But be Safe!

Every summer I feel the same nervous anticipation about my girls.

I say to myself, “Both of them could swim fairly well last year…but will their romp in the water this summer be like starting all over again — a frantic search for a towel when a mere drop of water hits my 6-year-old’s face, or an attempt by my nearly 4-year-old to choke down half the water in the pool, in a day?”

By the end of this summer, I know they’ll be darting through the water like fish, but right now — because their bodies grow every year — it could take some time for them to readjust their movements and techniques to become comfortable with the way their ‘new’ bodies now work in water.

I learned that last year, when teaming up with the YMCA of Florida’s First Coastand its Safety Around Water program, to get the message out about swimming safety and teaching kids life-saving swimming skills.

….To read the rest of the article, click here.

Every summer I feel the same nervous anticipation about my girls. I say to myself, “Both of them could swim fairly well last year…but will their romp in the water this summer be like starting all over again — a frantic search for a towel when a mere drop of water hits my 6-year-old’s face, or an attempt by my nearly 4-year-old to choke down half the water in the pool, in a day?” By the end of this summer, I know they’ll be darting through the water like fish, but right now — because their bodies grow every year — it could take some time for them to readjust their movements and techniques to become comfortable with the way their ‘new’ bodies now work in water. I learned that last year, when teaming up with the YMCA of Florida’s First Coastand its Safety Around Water program, to get the message out about swimming safety and teaching kids…


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