New grant will teach lifelong skill to underserved students

The Levite Jewish Community Center is pleased to announce receipt of a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. The grant will allow The J to launch Swim School, a water-safety and swim lesson program for underserved students in local schools. The program will provide basic water safety, lifesaving, and swimming skills through six and a half hours of instruction. 

Children, including a pre-teen on a diving platform, frolic in the indoor pool
The J’s extensive aquatics program includes a large crew of professional swim instructors that uses the indoor and outdoor pools.

The new initiative will benefit as many as 90 students from i3 Academy during the 2023-24 school year.

“We have a robust aquatics program here at The J, based in part on the ancient Talmudic instruction about the importance of teaching your children to swim,” says Brooke Bowles, executive director at The J. “We’re delighted that we’ll be able to assist so many first- through third-graders from i3. Swimming is a lifelong skill that includes numerous physical and mental benefits, and we’re glad this program will contribute to the students’ overall well-being.”

The after-school program will also include transportation from i3 to The J.

“I’m excited for this partnership,” adds Aquatics Director Billy Greene. “I’m eager to see these i3 students learn a whole new set of skills in the pool, and it’s never too early to introduce some career ideas.”

i3 is a “STEAM-inspired” tuition-free public charter school in the nearby Woodlawn community that serves kindergarten through seventh-grade students. While “STEAM” means focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, the three i’s in the school’s name stand for imagine, investigate, and innovate. 

The Community Foundation works hand-in-hand with the communities that call the greater Birmingham area home and that share the organization’s pursuit of a just, prosperous, and unified region where every person is empowered to reach their full potential.

The J continues to seek additional funding in order to offer Swim School to as many students as possible. Make your contribution today (simply select “Swim School” at the link).