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July 2019

Badger Swim Club staff worked with Co-Op kids to advance skills in small group sessions before camp starts. This increases the likelihood of beginning swimmers to become independent swimmers before the end of the summer. Photo Credit:  Bridget Johanson, 2019

Badger Partners with School District to Serve High Need Beginner Swimmers

Badger Swim Club once again partnered with Mamaroneck School District’s Co-Op Summer Enrichment Program to provide pre-summer swimming lessons for 60 low income children with little to no swimming experience. The program is funded through private donations.


The partnership with Badger met one of Co-Op’s most pressing priorities: increasing high-quality swim instruction so inexperienced campers can become independent and safe water enthusiasts. Statistically, drowning is the second highest leading cause of accidental death in children under the age of 12. Low income, children from diverse backgrounds are at even higher risk. But, in our area, swim instruction and pool membership is financially out of reach for over 400 Mamaroneck and Larchmont children.


The STEM Alliance, under contract with the school district to run Co-Op, recognized the need for increased swim instruction for these kids.  Staring in 2017, they worked with the Mamaroneck School District and Badger Swim Club to find a creative solution. Margaret Käufer, Lead Administrator of Co-Op, said “We are thrilled to connect these struggling swimmers with outstanding instruction offered by Badger, our area’s premier swim club.”  For its part, Badger Swim Club and Day Camp, led by John Collins, Jr, immediately responded to the request for help. Badger’s team was keenly aware of the drowning statistics and wanted to give back to the community.


 Additionally, staff there have personally witnessed how swimming can lead to an increase in self-confidence and overall emotional growth.  Another critical element of the program is that swimming skills make it easier for all children to enjoy the Long Island Sound. Environmentalists know that you can not protect something that you do not know. Increased connection to the Long Island Sound through swimming helps grow the stewards of the future.


The Badger/Co-Op pre-summer partnership, now in its second year, has already shown results. Children who participated were three times as likely as their Co-Op peers to become independent swimmers. Superintendent Dr. Shaps celebrated this work saying, “Private-public partnerships such as these are the types of initiatives that let us go above and beyond in service to our students.”


The STEM Alliance continues to seek financial assistance for Co-Op initiatives that support their motto:  “Equal access to quality summer programs because summer matters - porque el verano importa.” Visit www.coopsummer.org to learn more and offer your support.