News

Homeless Children Learn How to Swim

July 15, 2013

SAN DIEGO — A scholarship program allowed junior lifeguards to give homeless children free-swimming lessons at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA.

Fifty students from different grade levels at Monarch School will benefit from the scholarship program, thanks to a $5,000 grant from San Diego Gas and Electric.

“It’s a chance to be a kid, not worrying of what they’re going to eat or where they’re going to sleep, just have fun,” said Monarch School CEO Erin E. Spiewak. It’s more than just fun. It’s also a way to do away with disadvantages brought on by poverty, according to Corey McClelland with the Junior Lifeguard Foundation.

It’s a chance to be a kid, not worrying of what they’re going to eat or where they’re going to sleep, just have fun.

“It’s a way for us to prevent fatalities in the pool,” said McClelland. Studies show children living below the poverty line have less access to swimming pools, thus making them more likely to drown. “This program really is an opportunity to help educate our children so they can be better prepared for a life outside of poverty and so if they may have the chance in the future to go to a pool they’ll be safe,” said Spiewak.

The swimming lessons will last five weeks.

Parents interested in applying for the scholarship can contact the Junior Lifeguard Foundation.

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