Pool Offers Swim Lessons to Low-Income Families
INDIO - Triple digit heat is already upon us which means families will be cooling off at local pools. But, pool time can come with its concerns, so one organization is going out of their way to make sure kids stay safe. Kaiser Permanente donated $50,000 scholarship to Pawley Pool in Indio to help give low-income families swim lessons. For Gilbert Gomez, the fear of drowning hits far too close to home. "One of our nephews was in danger of drowning so I have tried to instill in them safety. They tend to go swim in friends backyard pools and it scares me when I’m not there,” says Gomez. His family is one of the recipients of the scholarship.
Gomez and other families applied for scholarships to Operation Splash. Nearly 250 families were awarded today. "Everybody here has been awarded some type of lesson or open swim so it's a really great opportunity to get everybody here,” says Aquatics Assistant Kelsey Meadows. Each child in each family will get one two-week session and it's good for any age. "It depends on their level and age. With the infants it’s really about just getting them comfortable with the water but we go all the way up to the sharks class where we teach them the strokes and stuff like that,” says Meadows.
They say the lifeguards are there to help but they’re not parents. "Lifeguards are there to provide emergency back up. They are not baby sitters,” says Meadows. She offers up a few other pool tips.
"It's very important for parents to know where their children are at all times around the water. It's really important for the kids to know when they can get in the pool. There needs to be a cue like ‘1, 2,3 mom says jump in.’ Now you’re good to go,” says Meadows. "It's a positive resource for them. We can get them out here to learn and they won’t be cooped up at home,” adds Gomez.