August 2, 2017
It’s only our 2nd year of Summer Bluefish, and we’ve already been able to serve more than twice as many kids! Through free swim lessons, the program gets kids excited and confident about swimming in the river as + POOL works to provide clean and safe access to it.
The Summer Bluefish is one of the best parts of bringing + POOL to life, and is an incredible example of the amount of friends that come together. For the 2nd year in a row, we worked with our aquatics friend Warren Perry at Sacred Heart to design and teach a lesson plan, and we partnered with New York City Housing Authority to connect with kids who need it most. The kids had the incredibly generous and talented Olympian Kim Vandenburg as a guest instructor. GoSwim and Glenn Mills gave special swim instruction. Our friend and brilliant photographer Anna Wolf captured the program in the below images. Thanks to the huge support of TYR, every student received custom towels, shirts, swim caps, bags, goggles, and a medal designed by this year’s Bluefish artist Curtis Kulig (currently available with a donation here).
51 kids total participated between the ages of 8 and 13, 6 kids returned from the 2016 inaugural Summer Bluefish returned for advanced classes, 32 girls, 19 boys, over 2 sessions and 14 classes. Congratulations swimmers: Abdoul, Aidan, Aiden, Alonzo, Andrea, Aseia, Avianna, Brianna, Carlos, Chaniya, Clarissa, Damien, David, Desiray, Destiny, Francesca, Franklyn, Gianna, Haile, Imarxe, Jaiden, Jeffrey, Jelani, Jess, Jesse, Jordan, Joseph, Justin, Kadelia, Kamelya, Kashmerea, Kaylah, Kennedy, Khadejah, Laveek, Leany, Mario, Marquise, Misa, Naes, Nana’lee, Navaeh, Nia, Nukader, Olivia, Rahmael, Said, Samarity, Sumia, Umamiah, and Unique!
A big thanks to USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative for being an official sponsor of this year’s Summer Bluefish, and the New York City Housing Authority for helping us connect with the kids who need it most (thanks, Milly Garcia, Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, Michael Lopez, Joyce Majors, Claudia Perez, Valerie Rosenberg, Wilfred Thomas, Crystal Walker, Leroy Williams, and Dasia Woods!).
The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative is a national child-focused water safety campaign, which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. Through Make a Splash, the USA Swimming Foundation partners with learn-to-swim providers and water safety advocates across the country to provide swimming lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim. The USA Swimming Foundation has invested millions of dollars to provide grants to qualified Local Partner learn-to-swim programs, to spread national awareness, and to bring together strategic partners to end drowning. To date, more than 4 million children have received the lifesaving gift of swim lessons through the USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partner network, comprised of more than 750 qualified lesson providers across the nation. To learn more, visit here.
A huge shout out to this year’s sponsors that made it possible, USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Foundation and the generous support of Anna Wolf and Mike Perry. Additional support was provided by Jeff Barany, Aimee Chang, Andrew Essex, Darius G. Grant, Ginger Groeber, Greenpoint Landing, Mercedes Kraus, Linda Meyer, William Kadish, Ryan Simons, Sandy Tait, TYR, Jennifer Uchida, and Joni Yoswein.