April is Adult Learn-to-Swim month. According to the CDC, about 10 people drown every day in the United States--the majority of them adults or young adults.
The Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, U.S. Masters Swimming's charitable arm, continues its annual campaign to directly reduce adult drowning by training and certifying adult learn-to-swim instructors and by providing grants for adult swim lessons.
Since 2014 the foundation has awarded more than $205,000 in grants to program partners offering adult swim lessons in communities across the country, including $90,000 in 2016 to 44 partners.
The USMS Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor Certification Program, launched in 2015, will visit 25 cities this year. To date, 504 instructors have been certified, with 425 more anticipated by the end of 2016.
Bill Brenner, USMS's education director, says that educating instructors is critical to the success of adult swim lessons. "Traditional swim-instructor training is focused on teaching children. Adults learn differently than children do, and our curriculum teaches instructors how to communicate lifesaving swimming skills to adults."
U.S. Masters Swimming encourages all of its nationwide programs and members to participate in April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month by hosting ALTS classes in their communities and by donating to the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, which is funded by voluntary contributions from the more than 60,000 USMS members.
Governors from 11 states have issued proclamations declaring April Adult Learn-to-Swim Month this year, including the governors of Michigan, North Carolina, Maryland, and New Mexico.
Anyone interested in finding or offering adult learn-to-swim lessons is encouraged to visit usms.org/learntoswim.
About the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation: The Swimming Saves Lives Foundation is the charitable arm of U.S. Masters Swimming. USMS has been promoting the health and fitness benefits of swimming for more than 40 years. The Foundation provides grants to USMS's local programs for adult learn-to-swim classes. For more information, visit usms.org/giving.
About U.S. Masters Swimming: U.S. Masters Swimming is a nonprofit national governing body that promotes health, wellness, fitness, and competition for adults through swimming. USMS has more than 1,500 adult swim programs across the country and promotes information via the bimonthly member magazine, SWIMMER, monthly eNewsletters, STREAMLINES, and website, usms.org. USMS sanctions and promotes pool, open water, and virtual events and competitions. Nearly 65,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming.