May 2009

Ontario’s Grade 3s swim to survive

Nearly half of Ontario’s Grade 3 students will have taken the Swim to Survive program through the Lifesaving Society by the end of this school year. Any Ontario school board with its own aquatic facility(s) may apply for a grant. To date, the Society has approved over $2.6 million in Swim to Survive grants and reached over 162,000 Grade 3 students. Swim to Survive does not replace traditional swimming lessons but focuses on achieving a single skill sequence that is designed to help kids who find themselves unexpectedly in deep water: roll into deep water, tread water for one minute and swim 50 metres. The grants help provide a minimum of three in-water survival lessons to elementary school children during school hours. The funds help pay for busing, instructor costs and aquatic facility rental costs. Because grant funds are limited, the Society relies on school boards and their partners to support the program with matching service and in-kind sponsorships.

The grant program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health Promotion, the Stephanie Gaetz KEEPSAFE Foundation, the Lifesaving Society, the Jays Care Foundation and the Lifesaving Foundation.

To learn more about the program or to download the application form, visit or contact Sindy Parsons at or 416-490-8844.

Updated May 5, 2009