The aim of the program is to teach children how to become water-safe.
The Ventura Aquatic Center hosted a fun event on Friday, May 31, to celebrate the completion of another successful year of Kaiser Permanente’s Operation Splash program which provides free swimming lessons for underserved youth in our community. For the past 11 years, through the Operation Splash grant, more than 400 elementary school children each year receive free swim lessons at the Kimball Aquatic Center in Ventura through the City’s PEAK afterschool program.
As the school year comes to an end, to celebrate the culmination of this year’s program, the Ventura Aquatic Center held a special private Float Night for all of the Operation Splash kids and their families. This free event provided open swim time in the main pool and activity pool for the children and their families from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and despite the chilly evening the pools were filled with laughing children – fulfilling the Operation Splash goal of making sure children are safe in the water.
The aim of the program is to teach children how to become water-safe in a fun and healthy environment and teach them that healthy activities like swimming can positively impact their health. The Operation Splash program has been a huge success here in Ventura and to help celebrate, Kaiser Permanente was on hand at the event, passing out healthy eating information and KP-branded beach balls which quickly filled the pool with a rainbow of color. Balls were bouncing back and forth as children who might not have even ventured into the pool at the beginning of the school year confidently swam back and forth tossing them to each other.
Since its inception in Ventura, Operation Splash has helped thousands of local children learn to swim. Many of the children who started in the program during the early years have gone on to become excellent swimmers, participate in competitive swimming and water polo and become junior lifeguards.
Operation Splash is part of Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating, Active Living, (HEAL) efforts to reduce obesity in the community by increasing opportunities for safe physical activity and access to healthy and affordable foods. Kaiser Permanente has granted nearly $7 million for Operation Splash since the program’s inception more than 12 years ago.
For more information about Kaiser Permanente’s participation in Operation Splash, please visit the web site at https://community.kp.org/about/program/operation-splash.