Our Impact: 2292 non-swimmers now safer in and around water. Increased accessibility to water safety & swim lessons in Fort Worth. Program ethnicity: 52% Hispanic, 25% African-American, 15% Caucasian, 2% Asian, 4% Other. 82% of students demonstrate comfort in the water by the conclusion of class. 861 learn-to-swim scholarships awarded following successful completion of drowning prevention classes. 2300 life jackets distributed. 6-month post survey revealed 100% retention of PFDs and 90% of recipients had had reason to use the life jackets. Parent/caregiver education to 9602 community members who have now become our ambassadors for water safety within their own network of family & friends. Drowning is a community problem requiring a community response. Our grassroots efforts to date have engaged 737 volunteers for >11000 hours on deck and approximately 2400 board hours. 99.7% of volunteers reported in a post-survey the desire to volunteer in the future. Roughly 1/3 of the volunteers we have trained are young adults who have learned life-long teaching skills and were seen as role models by young students. United States Swimming Association, National Hero Award 2017. National Drowning Prevention Alliance, National Community Lifesaver Award 2015. Certificate of Recognition from Fort Worth Mayor & City Council, Sept 2015.
The Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition is a grassroots, volunteer-driven community collaboration that provides no-to-low-cost drowning prevention lessons to at-risk community members as well as educates adults on issues of water safety and supervision. As program revenue is minimal, funding is necessary for program delivery, marketing, participant, volunteer and parent/caregiver incentives as well as the non-sexy but highly necessary, liability insurances. Program expansion to year-round programming is dependent upon a glut of volunteer resources. And, finally, in-kind donations in the form of Coast Guard approved life jackets, swim suits, caps & goggles, and printed material are critical to our mission.