Courtesy: Elizabeth Wickham
In a city 20 miles east of Los Angeles called Covina, the Northview High School swim team gives back to their community by teaching children to swim in their district’s nine elementary schools.
According to Co-Head Coach Christine Maki, the student athletes teach swimming three days a week, plus maintain high GPAs to stay on the high school swim team.
“Each school gets approximately 12 free swimming lessons per student in a four-week period. Parents are notified when their school is up for lessons and they can register at the Northview pool.” Maki said. “When they bring their little swimmers on the start date, the children are matched up with a varsity swimmer that will teach them for those 12 lessons.”
Drowning is listed as the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged one to 14 years in the U.S. according to the World Health Organization. These high school students are truly making a difference in their community by teaching children to swim.
Although Northview High School is located in Southern California, it’s far from a wealthy or even middle class school. In fact, 74% of the students at Northview are economically disadvantaged and 92% of the school’s enrollment is non-white.
The students fundraised for parkas themselves, but they’ve fallen short of their fundraising goal. Most likely, their families and friends don’t have the ability to support them in this effort.
“We are looking to purchase high quality and long-lasting parkas,” Maki said. “Each parka’s price ranges between $100 and $125. Please help me to help the team receive a legacy team uniform for this year’s team and future team members. We need to raise between $6,000 to $7,500 to purchase these parkas, this year.”
They have a “Reaching Our Goal” crowdsourcing campaign to raise funds for parkas for their 60 swimmers. If you’d like to contribute, please follow their link here.
The Northview Vikings Swim Team is coached by Mike Gatreau, who developed the learn to swim program for the Covina-Valley Unified School District. Gatreau is also head coach of the Covina Aquatics Association. Maki is an age group coach for CAA and is head coach of the Competitive Tri-Swim Masters. Assistant Coach for Northview Vikings is Brianna Merritt. Northview Vikings swim in the D3, Valley Vista League.
Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog.