The USA Swimming Foundation will bring its Make a Splash with Cullen Jones Tour presented by Phillips 66 to Chicago in August to educate kids, reach parents and community leaders, and spread the life-saving message of learn-to-swim. Three hundred kids from the Chicago area will receive a FREE swim lesson at the Washington Park Pool on Saturday, Aug. 25 to learn water safety and basic swimming skills. Additionally during the water safety fair, Olympian Rowdy Gaines will MC a pep rally and Cullen Jones, who nearly drowned at the age of five, will give a motivational speech. Parents and kids will also be able to visit with exhibitors about swim programs in the Chicago area, first responders and many more.
Parents are encouraged to register their kids for one of two free, beginning swim lessons at http://www.makeasplash.org/chicago. Space for each session is limited to 150 kids/families. The first 100 registrants who participate in the lesson on Aug. 25 will receive a voucher for a full session of lessons at one of several local Chicago learn-to-swim organizations.
In the metro Chicago area, 10 children have drowned since June 14, according to data collected by doctors at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Each year, more than 3,400 people drown in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more than one in five fatal drowning victims are children younger than 14. In fact, 60-70 percent of African-American and Hispanic children cannot swim, according to a national research study by USA Swimming and the University of Memphis.
Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
9:30 – 10 a.m.
Kids’ learn-to-swim session (Water safety and basic swimming skills)*
10:15 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Pep rally by three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Rowdy Gaines, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones and USA Swimming Foundation
11:20 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Family learn-to-swim session (Moms and kids focus on water safety and basic swimming skills)*
*Registration encouraged (see above).
Washington Park Pool
5531 S. King Dr., Chicago 60615
Two-time Olympian Jones, a survivor of a near-drowning incident at age five and the first African-American male to hold a world record in swimming, has joined forces with the USA Swimming Foundation and Phillips 66 to support the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative, aimed at reducing the number of U.S. drownings, particularly among minority youth.
The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash water safety initiative works to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. More than 1.3M children have taken swimming lessons through the Make a Splash initiative since its inception in 2007. Through its 540 local partner programs, Make a Splash offers free or discounted swimming lessons or water safety education in 47 states.