What Is Make a Splash?

Make a Splash is a national child-focused water safety initiative created by the USA Swimming Foundation, with the goal of teaching every child in America how to swim.  

It works by aligning the nation’s top learn-to-swim resources in an effort to save lives. Make a Splash educates parents through a national awareness campaign, saves lives by joining forces with grassroots learn-to-swim programs and reaches thousands of children through wide-reaching in-school materials. Read on to find out how Make a Splash is improving communities and how you can get involved!



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Make a Splash News:

New! Make a Splash with Cullen Jones - The Adams Report: Article & Video

Make a Splash wins USOC Rings of Gold Award

2011 Make a Splash Grant Recipients Announced  

Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones Joins Forces with the USA Swimming Foundation and ConocoPhillips to Promote Water Safety This Summer

Find Swim Lessons today through our Local Partner Program. 

 The program exists because:

  • 9 people drown each day in the U.S.
  • In ethnically-diverse communities, the youth drowning rate is more than double the national average
  • 7 out of 10 African-American children and 6 out of 10 Hispanic/Latino children cannot swim
  • 42% of Caucasian children are unable to swim
  • The key indicator in this was not race, but family -- Children from non-swimming households are eight times more likely to be at-risk of drowning
  • While about 1/3 of white children from non-swimming families go on to learn to swim, less than 1/10 of children in non-swimming African American families do.  By teaching these children, Make a Splash is breaking the cycle and creating generations of parents-to-be who will know how to swim

* A recent study commissioned by USA Swimming and conducted by the University of Memphis exposes some alarming statistics for many of our nation’s children. The Constraints Impacting Minority Swimming Participation, Phase II study found that nearly 70% of African American children and 58% of Hispanic children have low or no swim ability, compared to 40% of Caucasians, putting them at risk for drowning.  According to the study, parental fear is a major contributor to a child’s swimming ability.  
The study is a follow up to Phase I conducted in 2008 which exposed the issues and served as a catalyst for widespread awareness on the issue of minority children’s low swimming ability. The purpose of the current study was to more clearly understand children’s true swim abilities and determine which factors most impact whether or not a child learns to swim

Click here to read 2008 Phase I Study

Click here to read 2010 Phase II Study

The actions are:

  • Educates parents through a national awareness campaign
  • Saves lives by joining forces with grassroots learn-to-swim programs and providing water safety education in communities nation wide
  • Reaches diverse and under-represented communities by funding free or low cost learn-to-swim programs at some Local Partners for children who otherwise could not afford them


The benefits include:

  • Reduce youth drownings, especially among minorities
  • Create opportunities for children of all economic and ethnic backgrounds to learn to swim by the 3rd grade




Want to learn more?

Click here for more on the Local Partner Program

Click here for videos and photos of Make a Splash in action

Click here for statistics on drowning

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions