Swim Initiative Pilot


October 2020

The CDC purports that drowning is responsible for more deaths among children ages 1-4 years than any other cause outside congenital anomalies. For persons aged 29 years or younger, drowning is one of the top three causes of unintentional injury and death. The USA Swimming Foundation reports that 79% of children from families earning less than $50,000 per year tend to have low to no swimming ability. Based on these statistics and alarming annual reports of above-average drowning rates in the Rockaway Peninsula, The Rockaway Hotel sought to spearhead a Swim Initiative to address the increased drowning risk to Rockaway youth.

In October 2020, The Rockaway Hotel partnered with Rising Tide Effect to place deserving students with limited financial resources into an intensive four-week pilot program which offered essential swimming skills and water safety training to a group of 7 students from St. Johns Residence for Boys. Findings from the pilot were used to build a full-scale program for the larger Rockaway community, offering swim lessons at no cost to at-risk youth with proximity to open water in Queens, NY. The initiative seeks to afford participants the chance to learn a lifesaving skill and respect for the world’s most important and abundant resource.

Image Credit: Jorge Marron