Conquering the Water

All GRSLA students learn to swim. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in five fatal drowning victims are children younger than 14 . And in predominantly minority communities, the youth drowning rate is often 2-3 times higher than the national average.

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Reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, and USA Swimming Foundation correlate the relationship between minority urban youth and swimming:

  • Nearly 70% of African-American children and 60% of Hispanic children have low or no swimming ability
  • Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged one to four years
  • African-American children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers
  • If a parent does not know how to swim, there is only a 13% chance that a child in that household will learn how to swim

Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics have shown swimming and other exercise promotes healthy weight management, stronger bones and joints, greater muscle strength, improved flexibility, a greater ability to handle stress, and, as a result, better concentration in school. By getting our children acquainted with daily physical activity at a young age, GRSLA helps promote both a healthy lifestyle and better learning as our students continue their journey through elementary school and beyond.

Most students come to GRSLA as non-swimmers who are afraid of the water. Learning to swim:

  • Transforms a feared challenge into a favorite activity
  • Encourages attention to detail and commitment to a goal
  • Teaches resilience and strategies to overcome fears and obstacles
  • Introduces a competitive sport
  • Inspires a healthy lifestyle
  • Is FUN

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