Grants and donation ensure five years of Safety Around Water program

WORTHINGTON – The Jami Cummings Safety Around Water program will be funded for the next five years, thanks to generous contributors, a winter fundraiser and the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation.

Foundation Executive Director Jeff Rotert met with Worthington Area YMCA Executive Director Meredith Daley to hand over a check for $122,153.88 – all funds for the program that teaches area second grade students to swim.

Just over $8,200 was raised by last winter’s Radio Works Deep Freeze Dip, and almost $54,000 came from donations to the Strong Kids Campaign. The Health care foundation added a matching grant of $60,000.

Daley said the program is beneficial for the community, not only providing an opportunity for children to learn to swim, but also starting a conversation in households about water safety.

“It’s a life-long skill, and a great way to talk about kids continuing to learn more, ”Daley said.

Rotert said the process of funding the program has been a fun one, adding,” It solidifies the funding for that five years.”

Some schools are scheduled to start the program in early November, Daley said. Because of COVID, not all second-grade students had the chance to attend last year, so those area schools will send second and third graders. District 518 and the Y are working on a schedule and hope to send children in the spring. Getting dates nailed down has been complicated by the hybrid learning some districts are working with.

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