Columbia Association Aquatics Receives 2013 Make A Splash Grant

The USA Swimming Foundation recently awarded the Aquatics Department at Columbia Association (CA) a $4,000 Make A Splash grant.

Make A Splash is the national child-focused water safety initiative of the USA Swimming Foundation. The initiative aligns the nation’s top learn-to-swim resources in an effort to raise awareness of water safety and provide opportunities for all children to learn to swim.

CA offers access to 23 outdoor pool facilities and 4 indoor pool facilities to Columbia’s more than 100,000 residents. CA developed an incentive program for qualified students and partnered with the Howard County  Public School System, and launched a program, called CA Points Program (CAP). Through this program, school employees help monitor a student’s progress, grades and behaviors, and the students are rewarded points. Through the accumulation of these points during a school year, students can earn different levels of membership to the various CA facilities. The minimum reward is access to is our 23 outdoor pools.

CA’s Aquatics Department recently collaborated with the CAP coordinators to enhance the program and provide an additional incentive opportunity to those students who qualify. Each student is evaluated through his or her school at the end of the marking quarter, and the top students receive a certificate that awards them a free, six-week session of swim lessons.

With this grant, CA will now be able to educate the community about the importance of learning to swim and pool safety regardless of someone’s financial status.  Together, these programs will allow CA to provide more children with the opportunity to safely enjoy all of our aquatic amenities and the benefits of learning how to swim. To learn more information about CA’s Aquatics department, visit ColumbiaPools.org. To learn more information about the Make A Splash program, visit makeasplash.org.

-Article by Erin McPhail

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