Alexandria, Va. (January 30, 2024) – Step Into Swim, a non-profit initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) dedicated to creating more swimmers through safe swim education, today announced a strategic partnership with Foss Swim School. Foss Swim School's substantial donation and a direct match for this gift from the PHTA Board of Directors will help Step Into Swim offer a grant to Foss Swim School's scholarship program. The grant will provide 13,000 free or low-cost swim lessons that will give children in six Midwest states access to the lifesaving skill of learning to swim in 2024.
Receiving swim lessons from a qualified instructor reduces the risk of drowning by 88% among children ages 1 – 4. This underscores the importance of water safety programs, like those provided through Foss Swim School, that save lives through swim education and create safer swimmers to help drive down the drowning rate. Step Into Swim will be able to make a positive impact across a wide range of communities in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin thanks to the generous donation from Foss Swim School paired with a gift match.
"I am excited for Step Into Swim to partner with Foss Swim School, pulling our resources together to increase access to safe swim education where it's needed in the Midwest," said Olympic Gold Medalist Rowdy Gaines, PHTA Vice President of Partnerships & Development, who leads the Step Into Swim initiative. "Jon and Susan Foss are innovators in the swim safety world who have impacted millions of lives with their quality swim instruction over the last 30 years. It's inspiring to find a program like Foss that believes in safe swimming just as much as we do."
Foss Swim School shares Step Into Swim's commitment to creating safer swimmers and prioritizing drowning prevention education. For more than 30 years, Foss Swim School has focused on making swimming part of child enrichment and building skills for a lifetime of confidence. Foss Swim School has 27 dedicated swim schools in six states across the Midwest, with more schools being built in the next year.
"I have always been a huge fan of Rowdy's and when we finally had the chance to meet last year, we instantly bonded over our passion for teaching as many kids water safety skills as possible," shared Foss Swim School co-founder Jon Foss. “By partnering up with Step Into Swim, we can help give more kids access to lifesaving swim lessons."
Contributions like this from Foss Swim School are integral to growing Step Into Swim's mission. Step Into Swim raised over $1,000,000 in 2023, which has provided grants to more than 100 facilities in 35 states and funded swim lessons for 27,000 children. The initiative has gifted swim lessons to more than 330,000 children since 2012 through YMCAs, Jewish Community Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, and many more. Step Into Swim is funded through contributions and 100 percent of donations go to learn-to-swim programming. To learn more, visit www.stepintoswim.org.
To learn more about or to apply for a scholarship with Foss, visit their website.
About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and Step Into Swim
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with 3,800 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $62B pool, hot tub, and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth initiatives to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge, and profitability. Additionally, PHTA promotes the use of pools by expanding swimming, water safety, and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer, and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit www.phta.org.
Step Into Swim™ is an initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance committed to safe swim education and drowning prevention. By investing in the next generation of swimmers through learn-to-swim programs, the Step Into Swim initiative instills confidence, empowers long-term participation in water activities, touts the positive benefits of water play, and advocates for safe practices. Since its inception in 2012, Step Into Swim has played a role in reducing drowning fatalities and has gifted swim lessons to more than 330,000 children with support from community organizations, partners, industry advocates, members and more. For more information, visit www.stepintoswim.org.
About Foss Swim School
Jon and Susan Foss opened their first swim school in 1993. They created an age-appropriate curriculum, helping even the youngest swimmers confidently learn water adjustment, safety, strokes, and technique. With 30 years of expertise, FOSS has redefined the swim lesson experience by providing a fun, original, technically sound, and safer style of teaching. FOSS currently has 27 schools in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Learn more by visiting www.fossswimschool.com or looking us up on our social channels.