Florida Swims Foundation and Every Child A Swimmer Renew Partnership to Provide Swim Lessons to Florida’s Children
(SARASOTA, Fla.) – The Florida Swims Foundation and Every Child A Swimmer (ECAS) renewed their partnership to provide swim lessons to children throughout the state of Florida.
The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in February 2023 signifying the commitment of both entities to work together to teach children to swim. The collective goals of this collaboration are to prevent drowning incidents, raise awareness about water safety, and fund swim lessons for children in underserved communities.
“The partnership between the Florida Swims Foundation and Every Child A Swimmer is one that shows just how committed both of our organizations are to ensuring that children all over the state receive life-saving swim lessons free of cost,” said Ben Evans, President of the Florida Swims Foundation. “Together, our impact on the swimming literacy of our communities will make Florida and its children more resilient.”
Funds are donated through the Florida Swims Foundation and sent to Every
Child A Swimmer for a 100% donation match. Once the donations are received, ECAS allocates funds to vetted swim lesson providers throughout the state.
“It is crucial to us that every child in the state of Florida become a swimmer,” said Casey McGovern, Program Manager of Every Child a Swimmer. “It is vital in a state
surrounded by water that our children continue to grow and learn in the water as well as on land to keep them not only safe, but also well-rounded.”
Since its inception, the Florida Swims Foundation has contributed more than $260,000 to providing swim lessons throughout Florida communities. The Foundation is the 501(c)(3) arm of the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA), a trade association for Florida’s pool and spa industry that currently holds 750 members across 16 chapters.
“It is an essential part of the Florida Swimming Pool Association’s values to provide health and safety information to all pool builders, operators, and most importantly, users,” said Elizabeth McMurray, Executive Director of the Florida Swimming Pool Association. “We are thrilled that the Foundation and ECAS are able to continue this fruitful partnership and make a positive impact across our state.”
In 2022 alone, Every Child A Swimmer awarded $550,000 to provide swim lessons to children from low-income families. ECAS is the fundraising arm of the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF), whose mission is to ensure that every child in the world is educated and trained in water safety.
Those interested in donating to the partnership should contact the Florida Swims Foundation by calling 941-952-9293 or by visiting FloridaSwims.org. All funds donated through the Foundation will be matched by Every Child A Swimmer to then be allocated to vetted swim lesson providers throughout the state.
The Florida Swims Foundation (formerly known as the Swimming Pool Education and Safety Foundation) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that funds swimming lessons for children throughout the state through a partnership with Every Child A Swimmer. The Foundation also provides scholarships for dependents of member companies through the Margaret M. Brown Scholarship Fund.
Every Child a Swimmer (ECAS) and the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) foundation whose mission is to preserve and celebrate aquatic history, to educate the general public about the importance of swimming as the key to water safety, drowning prevention, better health, a better quality of life, and to inspire everyone to swim. We believe that swimming is an essential life skill and that swim education should be accessable to everyone. Through our Every Child A Swimmer (ECAS) program we provide grants to swim schools serving in-need communities and advocate for life saving legislation nationally.
The Florida Swimming Pool Association is a trade association for the pool and spa industry in Florida. There are approximately 750 member businesses in 16 Chapters across the state. Members are required to abide by a code of ethics and to be properly licensed and insured.
FSPA provides the industry with access to continuing education courses, information on current trends and issues, and an arbitration program and government relations representation. FSPA is governed by a Board of Directors.
Making Water Safety a Priority This Pool Season
As a community, let’s make a difference and put water safety as a top priority this entire pool season, not just during Water Safety Month.
As Water Safety Month comes to an end, the importance of education and awareness remains a top priority, especially during the busy summer months. Drowning prevention and water safety efforts are ongoing, requiring the collective efforts of both pool owners as well as professionals to educate and promote proper safety measures. As a community, spreading the message, sharing resources, and working with organizations like the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance can help to ensure a safe and enjoyable water experience for everyone.
The 5 Layers of Protection
Drowning is a leading cause of death for children aged 1-4, and it can occur quickly and silently. To effectively prevent drowning incidents, it is crucial to implement multiple layers of protection. By understanding and embracing the five layers of protection, we can actively prevent tragedies and save lives. Take a few minutes to learn these layers, and together we can create a safer environment:
- Constant Adult Supervision: Never leave children unattended near water.
- Secure Barriers: Install proper fencing and barriers to limit access to pools and other water bodies.
- Water Safety Education: Teach children how to swim and educate them about water safety rules.
- Emergency Preparedness: Learn CPR and basic water rescue techniques.
- Life Jackets: Ensure children wear appropriate life jackets when participating in water activities.
Statistics Highlighting The Urgency of Water Safety
- In the United States, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children aged 1-4 and the second leading cause for children aged 14 and under.
- The World Health Organization estimates that drowning is one of the top five causes of death for individuals aged 1-14 in 48 out of 85 monitored countries.
- More than half (54%) of children aged 4-17 in the United States are unable to perform basic water safety skills.
- June has the highest number of fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents in the U.S.
- Nearly 80% of drowning victims are male, and African-American children aged 5-19 experience drowning rates 5.5 times higher than Caucasian children.
- Drowning incidents can occur in as little as two minutes, and victims often do not signal for help.
- Participation in formal swimming lessons by children aged 1-4 significantly reduces the risk of drowning.
These important facts highlight the critical need for ongoing education, access to swim lessons, and the implementation of preventative measures. Making water safety a priority during the pool season is crucial for families to protect their loved ones and prevent tragic incidents. Children are particularly vulnerable to drowning, and accidents can occur unexpectedly. By implementing better water safety measures, families empower themselves to respond effectively and ensure the well-being of their loved ones.
PHTA Launches New Jobseeker Website: WorkInAquatics.com
(Alexandria, VA) – The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), the trade association representing the swimming pool, hot tub and spa industry, today announced a major milestone in its workforce development program as it launched its brand new jobseeker website, WorkInAquatics.com and robust job board made exclusively for PHTA member companies, careers.WorkInAquatics.com.
The cornerstone of the program is the consumer website, which serves as the program hub and provides jobseekers with critical information about the industry, including in-demand positions, career tracks, earning potential, personal success stories and more. Members of PHTA are invited to create their very own Employer profiles and post jobs free of charge on the only industry-specific job board on the market.
PHTA leadership first revealed plans for the program, known as the Pool Professionals Pipeline, at its board meeting last November. Alongside its experienced steering committee of industry experts, PHTA developed the program to enhance jobseeker awareness of the aquatics industry and to meet the demands for new talent amid member concerns over the labor shortage and the compounded effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pool and hot tub industry is awash with potential for growth, but like many other industries today, we are limited due to the shortage of skilled labor and younger generations of workers entering trades such as ours,” said PHTA President and CEO Sabeena Hickman. “The importance of this program cannot be understated – we heard our members’ concerns loud and clear, and we’re proud to finally unveil this next step in our plan to welcome jobseekers to our industry.”
Along with the jobseeker website and job board, the program will be supported by a social media presence on Facebook and LinkedIn, public relations, advertising campaigns and ongoing content development of videos, new resources and other assets. PHTA members can expect additional resources and ways to expand their visibility among today’s active jobseekers.
The work for PHTA and the industry is just beginning. “To truly make a splash, we must prioritize investing in recruiting and training a new pool of candidates to join our industry,” said Hickman. “Having a visible presence and voice out there advocating for our industry is vital for our continued growth and success. PHTA is committed to supporting this jobseeker awareness campaign for the long-term – and ultimately, to driving engaged and qualified candidates to our members to find their new careers.”
To learn more about PHTA’s program and access exclusive resources and opportunities, visit phta.org/workforce or contact [email protected].
PHTA Standards Consensus Committee Appoints New Members
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) Standards Consensus Committee (SCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Vice Chair and four new Voting Members. The SCC is PHTA’s official consensus voting body, responsible for reviewing and voting on all pool, spa, and hot tub standards to be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Members of the SCC are classified into one of four interest categories: Producer, User-Government, User-Consumer, or General Interest.
The new SCC Vice Chair is Bruce Carney, owner of American Pools & Spas in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He is a member in the Producer interest category. Carney has worked in the pool industry since 1970 in various capacities, including construction, design, renovation, facility evaluation, and maintenance. He was very involved with both the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals and the National Swimming Pool Foundation before they merged into PHTA, and has also been both a trainer and a presenter for the American Red Cross.
The SCC’s four new Voting Members are:
- Kevin Baugh, User-Government
Baugh is an Environmental Health Specialist III for the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment in Olathe, KS. He earned a Master of Environment Policy and Management and a Bachelor of Environmental Science from American Public University Systems. Baugh holds several professional certifications, including Certified Pool & Spa Operator and Certified Environmental Scientist.
- Megan Ferraro, User-Consumer
Ferraro is Executive Director of The ZAC Foundation in Malvern, PA. She earned a B.A. in Political Science from Villanova University. Ferraro has been an advocate for water safety for over 10 years and serves as Co-Chair for both the CA Water Safety Coalition Board and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance Advisory Committee.
- Alan Korn, User-Consumer
Korn is Executive Director and General Counsel of Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation in Washington, DC. He earned his JD from Washington University Law School and his BS from Indiana University. He has worked in the water safety and product safety community for over 25 years, including the original development and further revisions of the Virginia Graeme Baker Act.
- Lexi Schmidt, User-Consumer
Schmidt is a Senior Mechanical Engineer at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Professional Engineer License for the state of Florida. At Walt Disney World, she has spent nearly 10 years working on commercial pool systems and consulting on new build designs.
“I’d like to congratulate Bruce and welcome the new members of the Standards Consensus Committee,” says SCC Chair Kris Bridges, MCP, CBO, CZA, Building Official/Zoning Administrator for the City of Martinsville, VA. “I know our new members will bring a significant breadth of knowledge from the areas of pool compliance, advocacy, construction, and operation. The SCC performs an important step in the process of Standards Development and it’s wonderful to have these talented professionals on board.”
PHTA is the leading industry organization recognized by ANSI to develop and promote national consensus standards for residential and public swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas. In 2023, PHTA is proudly celebrating 40 years of being an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer.
For more information, please visit the Standards Consensus Committee webpage on the PHTA website or contact [email protected].
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