Grant helps 80 underserved Atlanta kids take swim lessons

Saving lives through swimming
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 7:03 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - From lifeguarding as a teenager, to working as the Executive Director of Northwest Family YMCA, Megan Benvenuto knows the importance of water safety.

“You are teaching your child a lifesaving skill,” said Megan Benvenuto, Executive Director of Northwest Family YMCA.

Grants help the YMCA reach as many people as possible, swim lessons included. 6,000 kids have already been taught how to swim between 17 community YMCA pools.

”The grants help us, they are going to help us teach an additional two thousand kids just over the course of the learn to swim,” said Benvenuto.

One of those grants is from Step into Swim, an initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance. The organization has given 15 thousand dollars in grant money to 7 Georgia swim schools.

“It is funding 80 children this have access to a metro Atlanta pool,” said Benvenuto.

”We raise be able to award grants...specifically targeting children who would not necessarily have the means to afford swim lessons. We specifically target those families,” said Rowdy Gaines, 3x Olympic gold medalist and representative of Pool & Hot Tub Alliance.

4,000 people drown per year and children account for one out of four deaths. It takes people from all over the community to come together to address those stats.

“Drowning is preventable,” said Benvenuto.