|For the second year in a row, Kaiser Permanente is donating $50,000 to a City run swim program for elementary school children. Kaiser’s generous grant will allow the Recreation Department’s Elementary Learn to Swim program to reach as many as 1,000 fourth grade students. It also covers the cost of transporting children from their schools to city pools.
The Elementary Learn to Swim program addresses childhood obesity and helps kids who live in low income neighborhoods learn about water safety. Many of the schools participating in the program are located in neighborhoods where obesity rates are among the highest in the nation. Swimming helps kids increase aerobic capacity and improve their overall fitness. Students will be monitored throughout the program to measure their progress and endurance. And they’ll be encouraged to participate in a multitude of other free recreation programs offered by the City of Chula Vista.
“Kaiser’s gracious gift helps more of our children stay fit and safe,” noted Mayor Cheryl Cox. “Their donation allows us to expand the reach of a valuable program that teaches children critical lifesaving skills. What a wonderful way to give back to the community—through our children.”
The grant from Kaiser Permanente comes at a critical time for the City’s Recreation Department. A number of fitness programs have been casualties of the City’s ongoing budget crisis.
“We’re operating in challenging economic times. Community support is critical to the survival of our programs and, more importantly, to our kids,” said Recreation Director Buck Martin. “Child obesity is a threat to our children. We need more outstanding community partners like Kaiser Permanente to make a difference in the health of future generations.”
In addition to the Kaiser grant, the Elementary Learn to Swim program receives funding from the Friends of Chula Vista Parks and Recreation.