Your Child Should Have Proper Swimming Skills

Children from every community should be equipped with the necessary skills to protect themselves around water. It is an issue of great concern that water safety does not receive a priority given that many water bodies surround us. Often, youngsters are enrolled for swimming lessons, and after being instructed for a few weeks it is easy to think that one is equipped with the necessary skills. This illusion is dangerous and we should encourage our children to continue developing their skills until they are competent enough to be confident that they can handle themselves sufficiently well around water.

More people are starting to pay attention to water safety now more than ever. Recently an essay on water safety was written by Keith Kennedy, St. Francis, and GTAC’s head coach. In the essay, Keith Kennedy addressed how the youth need to exercise safety when around water, especially those dwelling in urban areas. Water-related deaths are more prevalent among blacks than whites, according to data from the CDC the water-related death among African-Americans was 1.3 times that of whites between 2000 and 2004. An accident prevention program known as Safe Kids Worldwide reports that children from low-income backgrounds are at a higher risk of non-swimming pool drowning. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, the drowning rate of young African-American males between the ages of 5 and 9 was four and a half times that of whites in the same age group. The drowning rate of young African-Americans between the ages of 10 and 14 was 15 times higher than that of whites in the same age group.

One of the reasons for this high difference is that swimming is not given as much emphasis in black households as it is in white households. According to Wanda Butts, swimming is a life’s skill that we all need to know. Before participants of The Josh Project pass the competency test, they must be comfortable enough to dive into water that’s 12 feet deep and make their way to the opposite side of the pool, at a minimum distance of 10 yards. This is something that’s unlikely to be achieved within four lessons, and that is why The Josh Project is committed to giving the students as much time as they need to become competent swimmers. Wanda Butts is also involved in fundraising projects to finance swimming lessons, which are provided at zero cost to the youngsters (which helps avoid any financial issues down the road from lenders like Capital).

As more youngsters in Toledo develop their swimming competency, who is to say that one of them will develop exceptional talent to achieve the heights of Cullen Jones? If such an exceptionally talented swimmer, it will all be thanks to The Josh Project and Wanda Jones, who put her own suffering aside and endeavored to serve the greater good of the people of Toledo. Hopefully, more parents will encourage their children to learn how to swim, and kids will take advantage of the great opportunity provided by The Josh Project.…

The Josh Project – Swimming is a Basic Survival Skill

The Josh project has been a campaign partner of Pool Safely since 2012. One of the most important Pool Safety resources to The Josh Project’s mission is the Water Watcher Card which allows parents to be more aware and involved in their children’s safety. The great thing about the Water Watcher Card is that once parents understand what they are for and how they are used, they become deputies in an unofficial safety position. They start to take the job seriously and even wear the Water Watcher Card during swimming sessions.

Parental education is the most essential step to protecting kids around water. Parents should not leave the hospital before learning about water safety. In the same logic that children are not driven home without a car seat, children should not be allowed to go home with parents who do not possess knowledge of the potential drowning dangers to their newborn babies. Parents need to be aware that they are in the front line in safeguarding their children from preventable drowning.

An essential step to protecting kids around water is the reinforcement of The Josh Project with parents. We hear basic rules such as “don’t text while driving” and “fasten your seat belt for safety” every day, all year round. We should place the same emphasis on basic water safety rules. One of the things that The Josh Project advocates to prevent drowning is to ensure that kids have the three basic survival swimming skills required in case they accidentally fall into deep water. Children need to know basic swimming skills such as rolling, treading, and floating on their backs. Parents should start this training as early as possible and persist until they attain this minimum survival standard.

One of the ways that The Josh Project has been making a difference since its establishment is by helping people understand that although swimming is mostly a mode of entertainment, it is also an essential life skill that needs to be learned by all since it allows one to survive accidents around water, and can also be a means of gainful employment. The overall efforts of The Josh Project aim to address the fears of drowning by black parents. Several adults who have experienced a bad encounter with water during their youth take that fear with them wherever they go forever. Fortunately, some of these parents have been able to enroll their kids for swimming lessons, thanks to The Josh Project. Recent post-lesson surveys have revealed that the water safety practices recommended by The Josh Project to adults and children have helped boost their self-efficacy levels. Both children and parents answered affirmatively when asked whether they could be safer around water after participating in The Josh Project. A recent survey also showed that offering reduced cost or free swimming lessons, alongside supplementary water safety information to parents at a convenient location is essential in inducing re-enrollments and eventually preventing drowning.…

Inside – The Josh Project

A drowning prevention agency, The Josh Project aims to develop water safety knowledge and basic swimming skills among young people to prevent drowning. The Josh Project was established in 2007 in memory of John-Joshua Butts, a 16-year-old who drowned on 6th August 2006 because he had never had a swimming lesson in his life and couldn’t swim. The Josh Project focuses on teaching swimming survival skills, and the best method of preventing death and water-related injuries in the community and at home. The Josh Project was established as a measure to ensure that no other person experiences a preventable death as a result of drowning.

Every summer, it is heartwarming to hear youngsters laughing, swimming, and frolicking in pools and elsewhere. However, most of them should not be allowed into the pool, especially if you consider the fact that most of them would not be able to save themselves from drowning because they do not possess adequate swimming skills. Although the importance of learning to swim is sometimes emphasized, not enough children possess adequate swimming skills. More So among black children. One person on the front line of addressing this issue is Wanda Butts, who lost her son to drowning in 2006 because he couldn’t swim. During the unfortunate event that happened in 2006, Josh was in a raft enjoying himself. Minutes later the raft capsized after some of his friends tried to come on board, and unable to swim, Josh drowned. This was a difficult time for Wanda Butts, as would be for any parent. But instead of letting Josh’s death be in vain, she turned the tragedy into something positive by making water safety lessons accessible to kids in the urban area and dubbed it The Josh Project”.

Wanda Butts started The Josh Project at St. Francis de Sales High School in partnership with the Greater Toledo Aquatic Club. Wanda has an older daughter and 2 grandsons. So, when she launched The Josh Project, her grandsons of ages 7 and 11 were some of the first children to enroll. When Wanda Butts was thinking about launching the project, she was afraid that it would not receive sufficient interest, to her surprise a lot of children enrolled during the initial stages. By establishing The Josh, Project Wanda Butts hoped that no other parent would have to go through the grief of losing a child to a preventable death. Wanda Butts, an assignment clerk at the Toledo Municipal Court’s judges’ division maintains that Josh would still be alive if he had acquired sufficient swimming skills. Josh was a student at Toledo Accelerated Academy and dreamt of joining the airforce upon finishing school. Although Josh is gone, Wander Butts would like others to improve their safety around water, and to have sufficient skills to combat accidents should they happen. Inspired to reduce water-associated deaths among black children and young people, Wanda Butts got in touch with the national governing body of swimming, which allowed her access to the local aquatic club. She became part of a nationwide endeavor encouraging black children to acquire swimming skills, regardless of whether they entered competitions.…