Operation Splash: Teaching Inner City Kids To Swim - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Operation Splash: Teaching Inner City Kids To Swim

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Los Angeles, CA -

(FOX 11 / CNS) Kaiser Permanente announced today that is providing a $265,000 grant to the Aquatics Division of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to fund Operation Splash, a free summer program that teaches children and adults in low-income areas to swim.

The program is now in its ninth year. "Kaiser Permanente recognizes that total health involves body, mind, and spirit. Operation Splash exemplifies everything Kaiser Permanente stands for: embracing diversity, promoting physical activity, helping in the fight against childhood and adult obesity and strengthening the overall health of our communities,'' said Dr. Benjamin Chu, group president for Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Hawaii.

"We are committed to making total health accessible to everyone.''

From Bob DeCastro:

Kaiser Permanente announced today a $1.2 million grant to provide Los Angeles city children free swim lessons and increased access to community pools. Operation Splash is a joint effort between Kaiser Permanente and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks Aquatic Division. From June 24 through September 17, children and their families will have access to free swim lessons, a longer pool season, aquatic events and free swim days for the entire family.

“I am proud to work for a company that both understands and is willing to invest in helping children be safe and comfortable around water,” commented Dr. Benjamin Chu, president of Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “In addition to promoting safety, this program will encourage children to be more active. And the more active they become, the healthier they will be,” added Chu. “This program is a great example of what can be done through our Healthy Eating, Active Living campaign.”

“Kaiser Permanente’s ‘Operation Splash’ is sure to bring miles of smiles to hundreds, if not thousands, of Los Angeles kids this summer,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge. “We are so very grateful for this program that provides a healthy, fun activity at city pools all over our city.”

“No matter how many programs the City offers, there will always be a demand for more,” stated Jon Kirk Mukri, General Manager of Los Angeles City Recreation and Parks Department. “We are thrilled that Kaiser Permanente’s generous donation will allow us to reach more children this summer,” noted Mukri. “The benefits of learning to swim and maintaining an active lifestyle are priceless. These programs break down the barriers to pool access.”

The mission of Operation Splash is to support aquatic facilities and swim programs that help increase physical activity in low-income areas, diminish the risk of chronic disease, and build strong bodies. The program encourages all participants to become water-safe in a fun and healthy environment. Program elements of Operation Splash include the addition of waterslides at Northridge Pool in the San Fernando Valley and Harvard Recreation Complex in South Los Angeles. Other elements include free swim lessons, an extended summer pool season, aquatic events and free family days. Swim lesson scholarships include a free swimsuit, goggles, towel and sunscreen.

Children and their parents may check their eligibility at local participating community pools.

Residents can find out about participating pools by visiting the Los Angeles City Recreation and Parks Web site at www.laparks.org/dos/aquatic/aquatic.htm or by calling 888 LA-PARKS (1-888-527-2757 toll free).

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