November 12, 2010 5:45 AM
Alicia Duplessis Jasmin
For two years, Tulane students have taught dozens of local children how to swim through a program known as Swim 4 Success.
“Most of our volunteers are Tulane students, but we do have a few from Loyola University and the University of New Orleans,” says Claire McCarthy, a Tulane junior and Swim 4 Success public relations coordinator. “Most of the volunteers grew up competitively swimming and quite a few have lifeguard certifications.”
In this video produced by Alicia Duplessis Jasmin, with photos by Sally Asher and Josh Kametz, leaders of the Swim 4 Success program tell how they got started and what they plan to do next.
Meghan Stanger, a Tulane sophomore and Swim 4 Success volunteer, says that the program is needed in New Orleans because of its large population of low income families. A study commissioned by USA Swimming, the national governing body of the sport of swimming, found a correlation between race, household income and children’s ability to swim.
“One requirement for our program is that the child be eligible for free or reduced lunch at their school, because we know that a family’s income can be related to a child’s comfort in the water,” says Stanger. “It’s especially important for children to learn to swim in a place like New Orleans because there is so much water all around them.”
The group, which is supported by the student volunteer organization CACTUS (Community Action Council of Tulane University Students), hopes to expand the program from the Reily Student Recreation Center at Tulane to pools at nearby high schools and local colleges.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org