According to data from Safe Kids USA, more than 800 children drown each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reports that drowning is the second leading cause of accidental deaths for people aged 114. Teaching youth water-safety skills can help prevent drowning and injuries while swimming.
If this Grassroots campaign raises $250, then the American Red Cross of Chicago can sponsor 10 youth in the Water Habits Are Learned Early (Whale) Tales water-safety education program. Each additional $25 raised will sponsor another youth in the program. Local high-school students, who have received training in aquatic safety and presentation skills by the American Red Cross, teach interactive Whale Tales courses to more than 15,000 Chicago-area elementary students each spring. In a classroom session, the volunteers teach the kids how to choose safe places to swim, to avoid cold water, and to float when in danger. Each lesson reinforces techniques for maintaining safe behavior in and around water with color posters, worksheets, activities, and a video with an animated whale named Longfellow. By using the students-teaching-students technique, the program has the dual benefit of inspiring higher retention levels in kids and helping volunteers gain important leadership skills.
You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago is part of the International Red Cross, a worldwide movement to offer neutral humanitarian care to people who have survived war and natural disasters. The Greater Chicago chapter originally formed six weeks before the 1915 Eastland disaster and arrived on the scene within an hour of the sinking. During that first disaster's response and rescue mission, volunteers provided medical aid, counseling, and coordination of relief agencies. Today, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago continues to stand as a postcrisis stronghold. It responds to 1,200 disasters and teaches health, safety, and disaster-preparedness skills to more than a quarter-million people each year.
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