Established in 2009 at The Community Foundation, this fund underwrites the costs to implement a “Learn to Swim” program at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
Initial financial commitments of $20,000 a year for the next five years will help finance the Aquatic Center’s “Learn to Swim” classes in partnership with Guilford County Schools. The Greensboro Aquatic Center developed a curriculum-based “Learn to Swim” lifesaving skills program for all first- and second-grade students in Guilford County.
“This groundbreaking program is having an enormous positive impact on this entire community,” said Walker Sanders, Foundation president. “The Learn to Swim program is providing every child in Guilford County the opportunity to learn how to swim. In doing so, the program is not only educating our children but helping save lives, too.”
Sanders said a group of residents who wish to remain anonymous felt very strongly about the need for the Learn to Swim program at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. They established the fund at the Foundation by contributing the first $100,000 toward it. “And they challenge others who feel as they do to step up to the plate and contribute, as well,” Sanders said.
A recent study by USA Swimming found that nearly 60 percent of African-American children cannot swim, almost twice the figure for white children. In addition, the non-swimming rate for Hispanic children was nearly as high (52 percent).
The fund at The Community Foundation enables the Greensboro Aquatic Center to contract with certified life-saving skills instructors, recruit guest appearances by well-known Olympic swimmers advocating Learn to Swim programs, provide transportation for students between schools and the Greensboro Aquatic Center and provide each participating student with a personal achievement commemorative “Learn to Swim” certificate and a swimming accessory novelty gift.
In 2017, the fund was renamed The Matt Brown Learn to Swim Fund in honor of his tireless efforts and contributions to the city of Greensboro.