Fry’s Spring Beach Club offers full and partial scholarship learn-to-swim programs during the summer. These lessons are open to all qualifying City residents. The Ben Hair Just Swim for Life Foundation (BH-JSL) will provide matching volunteer support and a monetary donation to support this program. Volunteer support entails providing Water Safety Instructors and Instructor aides for this program at no cost.
The program will be based on the successful program that was run over the past two summers. During the summer of 2012, Fry’s Spring Beach Club offered free swim lessons for children from low-income families. These children were identified through referrals from City schoolteachers and counselors and from the Abundant Life staff at the Blue Ridge Commons housing project. Full and partial scholarships were awarded based on the City of Charlottesville free lunch guidelines. Additionally, all participants in the course received free recreation swimming at Fry’s Spring for the duration of the summer. From June 13-August 5, 100 children participated in water safety classes. The learn-to-swim sessions were comprised of 8 half-hour classes per 2-week session. A child was deemed to be ‘water safe’ when they were able to swim 25 yards on the front and the back. Remedial lessons were offered to those who were unable to pass the exit assessments following the 8 classes.
With a net $5,000 grant from Make a Splash and the BH-JSL, and the influx of volunteer Water Safety Instructors and aides, we will be able to increase the number of children trained and seek to train upwards of 200 children over the course of the summer. Through the increase in number of volunteer water safety instructors provided by BH-JSL and its collaboration with the Jefferson Swim League, this program will be sustainable into the future. We are committed to serving our community and opening our pool to this important task of “waterproofing” our community.