The commitment of Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County to water safety has led to a nearly four-fold jump in local children receiving free swim lessons.
With the Council’s increased funding to the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County, the number of children receiving free swim lessons rose from 527 in the summer of 2014 to 2,050 in the summer of 2017, council members learned Thursday night.
The Drowning Prevention Coalition distributes vouchers for children ages 3-12 to take up to eight free swim lessons at more than 15 public pools throughout the county. The vouchers become available every April 1 in Palm Beach County for families who otherwise might not be able to afford them.
“For children growing up in South Florida, swim lessons are not only recommended, but potentially life-saving,” said Lisa Williams-Taylor, CEO of Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County. “We are proud to support the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County and its mission to keep our community’s children safe around water.”
Vouchers for this summer become available on Sunday, and the application can be found at the Drowning Prevention Coalition’s website: www.pbcgov.com/dpc
In other business from Thursday’s meeting:
The Council welcomed its newest member—Palm Beach County School District Superintendent Donald E. Fennoy II. He will replace former superintendent Robert Avossa.
Child Abuse Prevention Month: The Council declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, recognizing the need to raise awareness about this important issue. Nearly 1,450 children in Palm Beach County were victims of verified cases of child abuse and neglect in 2016-17. While there was a 10.5 percent decrease in children placed in the foster care system last year, the need for new foster families is as great as ever. While 644 children were removed from their homes because of abuse in Palm Beach County last year, there are only 275 active foster families. On April 4, Palm Beach County Unites for Children will hold a forum about child abuse from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Clayton E. Hutchinson Exhibit Hall, 531 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach. In addition, Children’s Services Council has distributed 6,000 blue pinwheels to be planted around the county as “pinwheel gardens” to bring attention to child abuse.
The Council approved up to $60,000 in additional funding to the Mentor Center of the United Way of Palm Beach County. The money will be used for mini-grants to ongoing mentoring programs in Palm Beach County that do not already receive funding from the United Way of Palm Beach County
Children’s Services Council, a local special-purpose government created by Palm Beach County voters in 1986 and reauthorized in 2014, provides leadership, funding, services and research on behalf of the county’s children so they grow up healthy, safe and strong. To learn more, please visit www.cscpbc.org.