Pools In Schools At DiVentures

Katie Bryant – DiVentures Swim School
kbryant@diventures.net

When I did my training in Shreveport last January, The Swim School went over so many versatile and interesting side components of their business that have been built throughout the years. Since DiVentures was still in its infancy, only six months old, I found myself having to pick and choose what programs we would be able to institute and get going to promote our swim school. Pools in Schools really sparked my interest. As a former preschool teacher, I am a firm believer in getting the message of water safety out at a very early age. Their program has all the safety benchmarks that are necessary, and they work hand in hand with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, which is a solid program.

As I was trying to figure out our vision, I stumbled upon a fairly new local organization based out of Lincoln, Nebraska. Their brand new, full-of-life Projects Manager, Laura Thomas, came to visit me to discuss The Joshua Collingsworth Foundation. It was started as many foundations are - with a tragedy. Blake and Kathy Collingsworth lost their precious two year old son to a drowning accident in their backyard pool on June 1, 2008. They had installed every protective device possible: fence, automatic pool cover and a security camera. After much soul searching, they were shocked to find out that the number one cause of accidental death in children ages one to four is drowning. In their grief, they started The Joshua Collingsworth Foundation and Blake was inspired to write the book, Josh the Baby Otter. It’s a simple story about a young otter which must always stay with his mother until he can learn to float. Find out more at www.joshuamemorial.org, or you can read the book in its entirety at www.joshtheotter.org

To make a long story short, Laura Thomas decided to become an SSI Swim Teacher working for us part-time. Diventures backed the printing of coloring books for The Joshua Collingsworth Foundation, which we now pass out at each of our presentations. Thus, we have both benefited from meeting one another. We gear our audience to preschool and early elementary school aged children. In September alone we went to seven area preschools reading the story and passing around Josh, a huggable stuffed otter and the foundation’s mascot, dancing, saying the safety pledge, and reiterating the importance of NEVER going near water without an adult! We are also getting our brand into preschools, as we leave Diventures Swim School brochures everywhere we go. We are trying to spread the word of water safety one child at a time, and are having fun doing it. Check out organizations in your area to find the perfect fit for your “Pools in Schools Program”! I know we are all passionate in helping stamp out childhood drowning accidents.

For additional information, feel free to contact Laura or myself. Josh the Otter is a national (soon to be international) foundation and would be happy to work with your swim school.

Please contact Laura Thomas: laura@joshuamemorial.org