In partnership with Talbot County Parks and Recreation, SOS Sink or Swim provided a total of 1,128 free swim lessons this summer.
“We are thrilled so many children and some adults learned such an important life skill this summer,” says SOS Sink or Swim Co-Founder and Council President Elizabeth Moose.
The lessons were taught by trained instructors and offered over several weeks during the summer months at Talbot County’s public pools located in Easton and St. Michaels.
These free, “no-questions-asked” swim lessons focus on proper swim instruction, which are known to drastically decrease the likelihood of childhood drowning. As children learn and master various swimming skills, they move into stroke development, and this year, we taught older children the basics of lifeguard training.
Since 2014, SOS Sink or Swim has provided over 6,500 lessons to children and some adults. Through charitable donations and community partner support, the organization is dedicated to ensuring every child on the Eastern Shore has the ability to swim and knows how to be safe in the water.
“Swimming is the only sport that can save lives, and while it’s an essential life skill for all ages, it is critical for all of our children on the Eastern Shore to know how to swim and to be safe in the water,” adds Moose.
A Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine report found that formal swimming lessons reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%. Additionally, a 2017 USA Swimming Foundation study reports 79% of children in households with incomes less than $50,000 have little to no swimming ability.
Because the Chesapeake Bay has more than 3,000 miles of shoreline and 600 miles are located in Talbot County, SOS Sink or Swim’s mission is crucial.
The program is docked at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, which serves as its fiscal sponsor. Lessons are administered by the Talbot County Department of Parks & Recreation. To learn more or to donate to SOS, visit sossinkorswim.org.