YMCA Make-a-Splash

Sponsored by:

Wood River YMCA

Project Champion:

Mike Wolter

What are the appropriate grade levels:

2nd and 3rd

Is there a limit to the number of participants:


Is there an opportunity for community service:


Is this a new or existing project:


Estimated project cost:




According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children between the age of 1 and 14. In July of 2013, there were seven drownings in Idaho in one week. To combat this statistic, the Y is partnered with our local school systems to create the 6-session Make-a-Splash program with the 3rd (and some 2nd) graders of Blaine County. The goals are to teach water safety and develop elementary swim skills among the participants. During the 2012/2013 year, the program began with 63 non-swimmers, 51 at-risk swimmers, and 80 swimmers. By the end of the program the numbers had changed dramatically with just 6 non-swimmers, 8 at-risk swimmers, and 138 swimmers (42 were not able to attend the final post-test).

The experience for the young students is about learning or enhancing an extremely important and valuable life-long skill. Working with their teachers, kids can help collect and tabulate pre- and post- data, promote the program and water safety within their respective schools, and assist in teaching swim lessons (assuming appropriate age and skill levels).

We are hoping to integrate upper school students from the Community School to assist our staff in the water. The rationale for working specifically with the Community School is due to their close proximity to the Y, making it easier for volunteer students to help during the school day. These students do not require any swim lesson certification, just a fun attitude and a willingness to help out in the water. Several Y staff assisted in the water in 2012/2013 helping the kids with floating on their backs and basic arm strokes to learn the elementary backstroke (also known as the safety stroke).

Project Images

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