ABC’s Swimming for Safety Program Making Waves at Taft Elementary

ABC is ecstatic to announce that our impactful Swimming for Safety program is underway at Taft Elementary. This initiative is set to equip over 65 students in grades K-2 with essential swimming skills over a six-week period, meeting twice a week for 45-minute lessons. These sessions are seamlessly integrated into the school day, aligning with the students’ regularly scheduled physical education classes.

Launched in 2017-18, ABC’s Swimming for Safety program seeks to teach young Cincinnati Public Schools students the basics of swimming and water safety, at no cost to the students or their families. 

ABC collaborates with the Cincinnati Recreation Commission to provide trained, certified swim instructors to teach the children the basic swim strokes and provide them with valuable water safety information. Additionally, thanks to the partnership with the CRC, Taft students have access to the indoor pool facilities at the Mount Auburn Community Center, conveniently located on the school campus.

Throughout the program, students not only learn essential swimming strokes like the doggy-paddle but also acquire vital skills such as identifying pool edges and self-rescue techniques during water emergencies. To facilitate their learning journey, ABC equips each student with a swimsuit, towel, and pool shoes.

The significance of such initiatives cannot be overstated, particularly considering that drowning ranks as the second leading cause of death among children aged 5-14 in the United States, with minority and low-income communities disproportionately affected.

For many of the children enrolled, Swimming for Safety represents their inaugural experience with swimming. Initially apprehensive, these students gradually gain confidence and comfort in the water, often expressing eagerness to explore further swimming opportunities.

The ongoing session of Swimming for Safety, launched in April and extending through May 2024, promises to empower over 65 students from Taft Elementary with invaluable swimming and water safety skills.

Ricky Miller, ABC’s Senior Manager of Athletics, expressed the organization’s enthusiasm for the continued partnership with the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and Taft Elementary. “This year’s program features kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classes,” Miller stated. “Our goal is to provide basic pool-safety education and to get students in the water so they can develop a skill they’ll hold on to for life.”

ABC extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Cincinnati Recreation Commission for their unwavering support and provision of exceptional facilities at the Mount Auburn Recreation Center. Additionally, the organization acknowledges the invaluable contribution of the Andrew Jergens Foundation (of the GCF), whose financial support has been instrumental in making this program accessible to the children of Taft Elementary.