Kaiser Permanente Southern California leaders joined Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday at South Park Pool in South Los Angeles to kick off the 2019 summer season of Operation Splash, which will offer low-income youth and adults free swimming lessons citywide.
Funded through a Kaiser Permanente two-year $408,000 community health grant, Operation Splash will make it possible for up to 12,000 youth and adults to receive free swim lessons at 37 city pools during the 2019 and 2020 summer seasons. The program will also enable 1,560 youth to receive scholarships to participate in the city’s popular Junior Lifeguard Program.
“Since its inception in 2006, Kaiser Permanente has provided free swim lessons and scholarships for 143,000 youth and adults throughout Los Angeles,” said Patti Harvey, Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s senior vice president of quality, regulatory and clinical operations support. “Whatever your age, swimming is an important skill to have, as it can save your life. Swimming is also a wonderful way to stay healthy – something we all must pay attention to. Lastly, and perhaps most important, swimming is fun.
Mayor Garcetti thanked Kaiser Permanente for its partnership with the city.
Alexandra Gomez, an Operation Splash graduate who grew up in South L.A., said the program left a positive mark on her life, noting she was the first one in her family to learn how to swim. Today, she works as a Los Angeles city lifeguard.
“Operation Splash has had a big impact on me,” she said, urging families to take advantage of this program. “It led me to become a lifeguard.”
Since its inception in 2006, Operation Splash has provided swim lessons and scholarships for 143,000 youth and adults throughout Los Angeles. For more information about Operation Splash, or to register for swim lessons, visit SwimLA.org.